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Chameleon Arts Ensemble Performs at Salem State January 30

Program includes Quartet for the End of Time by Olivier Messiaen

The critically acclaimed Chameleon Arts Ensemble will present a concert in Salem State University’s Recital Hall on Thursday, January 30 at 7:30 pm. Chameleon Arts Ensemble is distinguished by superb artistry and luminous performances that integrate old and new repertoire in unexpected ways.

Their program at Salem State will feature Olivier Messiaen’s epic masterpiece Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time). The Quartet was composed while Messiaen was a German prisoner of war in World War II. It was written for the instruments on hand among his fellow prisoners, clarinet, violin, cello and piano. The Quartet premiered on January 15, 1941 before the inmates and German officers of the prison camp Stalag VIIIA.

The Quartet stands as one of history’s greatest musical achievements, transporting the listener to a place between earthly suffering and the ecstasy of heaven, between measured time and boundless eternity, between sound and silence. It remains as powerful today as it was in 1941. Rounding out the program are Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun for flute and piano and Mozart’s Duo No. 1 in G Major for violin and viola.

This concert is presented in association with Salem State’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. The center will host a lecture about Messiaen’s quartet on Wednesday, January 29, 4:30-6 pm in the Berry Library and Learning Commons. Messiaen, Eschatology and the End of Time will be presented by Andrew Shenton, professor of music, musicology and ethnomusicology at Boston University. The free lecture will include music examples, an outline of the program of the Quartet, as well as a discussion of the holocaust and the eschatology of war.

Tickets for the concert are $20 general/ $15 seniors/under 18 free. These may be purchased online at or by phone at 978.542.6365.

This performance is sponsored by Salem State University’s Music and Dance Department and Center for Creative and Performing Arts.

Karen A Gahagan
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