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Olivier Messiaen - Hebrides Ensemble - The Observer


01 June 2008
The Observer
Stephen Pritchard

The darkly astringent Quartet for the End of Time - written and first performed in a prisoner-of-war camp - gets an impressive account from the Hebrides Ensemble on this disc, which includes some lesser-known but rewarding smaller works, including 'The Blackbird', Messiaen's first attempt at a detailed depiction of a specific bird in his long fascination with birdsong, and a Theme and Variations for violin and piano, which he wrote as a wedding present for his new bride Claire Delbos in 1932.
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