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Left Coast Chamber Ensemble presents French Sublime
Berkeley, California
Sunday, 2 February 2020 - 7:30 PM
San Francisco, California
Monday, 3 February 2020 - 7:30 PM
Left Coast Chamber Ensemble’s (LCCE) 2019-2020 Season continues with French Sublime, an evening of music exploring the earthly and divine, with contributions from French composers Lili Boulanger and Claude Debussy, along with Messiaen's masterwork Quartet for the End of Time. The concert includes a new piece by award-winning composer Kurt Rohde, reflecting Messiaen’s enduring influence.

Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time was written in 1941 while the composer was in a German prisoner-of-war camp. It premiered in the camp for an audience of both prisoners and guards, during what may have felt like the end of time. “From the ashes of mankind's darkest era, Messiaen created a masterpiece of unequaled vision, pathos, and hope,” said Left Coast’s clarinetist Jerome Simas. “It is a profound spiritual journey for the performer and audience alike.”

“Messiaen’s work blends visceral and spiritual qualities in such powerful ways, and his language is so unique,” explains Anna Presler, LCCE’s Artistic Director. “We're pairing this with French music that approaches the sublime from the other direction, including Lili Boulanger's dreamy Nocturne. Unlike Quartet for the End of Time, it is a completely unassuming little piece for the end of the day, and Boulanger, like Messiaen, knows how to cast a spell.” Debussy’s Premiere Rhapsody, a whirlwind of a piece for clarinet and piano, will also be performed.

To complement these transcendent French works the Ensemble will present the world premiere of One Wing, by Left Coast’s Artistic Advisor and award-wining composer Kurt Rohde. Written for violin and cello, Rhode’s new piece demonstrates Messiaen’s continuing influence on contemporary composers.

Left Coast will host a special preview event Messiaen and the End of Time, a free lecture and discussion on Friday, January 31, 5:00pm, at Doug Adams Gallery, 2465 Le Conte Avenue, Berkeley. Visit for details.

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