Toni Vaquer, arrangements and conductor
Majorcan pianist Toni Vaquer returns, leading a small orchestra of improvisers to rediscover Olivier Messiaen’s anguish and hope, in his best known quartet. Vaquer adds voices and the freedom of improvisation. This treatment of the piece as a democratic musical artifact is in ironic contrast with the circumstances in which it was composed, during Messiaen’s captivity in a German concentration camp during the Second World War. Vaquer, who has, over the years, come to the fore as a composer and director of improvised works, emphasised the “beauty, desperation and strong emotions” of the piece. The ability to transgress the original is the best antidote to the warning in the title.
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