Press release for immediate distribution
OLIVIER MESSIAEN AND A WORLD PREMIERE BY NICOLAS GILBERT
Montreal, May 16, 2008: Her fingers still hot with Messiaen's "birdcalls" from her last performance, Louise Bessette is getting ready to attack another masterpiece by the French composer. On June 8, at 3PM, on the historical landmark of Sharon Temple, in Sharon, Ontario, she will perform the Quartet for the end of time with Simon Aldrich (clarinet), Yegor Dyachkov (cello) and Olivier Thouin (violin).
Significant composition for the experimental evolution of the composer, Quartet for the end of time was written when Olivier Messiaen was a prisonner of the Second World War, in Stalag VIII A, in Silesia. The chamber formation corresponded to the available intruments in the camp. Through extreme physical and emotional pressure, and without the instruments at hand, Messiaen composed a work glowing with ethereal, spiritual and catholic musical qualities, which would paved the way for his foray into musical research of future years. Created at the camp, three days prior to his release, with him at the keyboard, this masterpiece remains one of the most poignant homage and celebration of life and humanity. Completing this program is Beethoven's Trio opus 11 in Bb Major for piano, clarinet and cello, a delightful chamber work not performed often enough and dedicated to the Countess Maria Wilhelmine von Thun, a patron of the composer in Vienna. Finally, the public will hear Le temps des impossibles, a world premiere by quebecer composer Nicolas Gilbert, a quartet specially written for the four musicians, thanks to a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, and a musical tribute to Olivier Messiaen.
A versatile musician with an acrobatic mastery of the keyboard, Louise Bessette is appreciated throughout the world. She performs frequently with renowned formations and is seen regularly in festivals throughout Europe and America. She won the First Prize at the Concours International de Musique Contemporaine in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the First Prize and the Special Prize for Piano at the International Gaudeamus Competition, the 1991 Flandre-Québec Award, and the Prix Opus for "soloist of the year" 1996-97, awarded by the Conseil Québécois de la Musique. Piano teacher at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal since 1996, she is transmitting to young virtuosos her passionate love of music.
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