Melba Recordings

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A Lotus Blossoming

23/03/2012
Financial Times.com (UK)
Andrew Clarke

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.