The sleeve notes claim Zemlinsky and Messiaen had something in common but the music tells us otherwise. The Viennese composer’s youthful Trio for clarinet, cello and piano (1896) is a post-Brahmsian essay that sounds almost trivial next to the Quartet for the End of Time, which Messiaen wrote as a prisoner of war in 1940-41.
Despite (or perhaps because of) the coupling, the Quartet’s originality comes across strongly in this sensitive performance by an ensemble of Melbourne-based Australians.
Zemlinsky and Messiaen
A Lotus Blossoming
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