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A Lotus Blossoming

Otago Daily Times (NZ)
Geoff Adams

David Griffiths (clarinet), Svetlana Bogosavljelic (cello) and Timothy Young form the trio based in Melbourne that plays Zemlinsky’s Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano.

They are joined by violinist Wilma Smith (former concertmaster of the NZSO, now of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra) to perform Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time.

The composers both suffered greatly in World War 2 but, ‘like the fabled lotus flower emerging from the muddy swamp’, rose above those circumstances. The trio (1896), inspired by Brahms’ presence in Vienna, appealed to his mentor but was deemed degenerate by Nazis. The quartet, written in a POW camp, is Messiaen’s masterpiece, forging a new rhythmic language, mimicking bird calls and reconstructing “time”. The works are meticulously performed.   

Highlight: Messiaen’s mystical messages.