Trout Quintet & Quartet for the End of Time

11 - 24 July 2012


SCHUBERT Piano Quintet, “Trout”
MESSIAEN Quartet for the End of Time


Helena Rathbone Violin
Christopher Moore Viola
Timo-Veikko Valve Cello
Maxime Bibeau Double Bass
Paul Dean Clarinet
Saleem Abboud Ashkar Piano

This concert pairs two great works inspired by very different experiences away from home, both written for the musicians available and, as a result, for unusual combinations of instruments.

Aged 22, Schubert had his first holiday in the country. In the Trout, he captures the mood of those carefree summer days and his ecstatic delight in the countryside, in warm, beguiling melodies and harmonies.

A prisoner of war, Messiaen wrote the Quartet for the End of Time for the musicians he found in the camp, premiering it to an audience of inmates and guards. “Never” he said, "was I listened to with such rapt attention and comprehension." Critic Alex Ross calls it “the most ethereally beautiful music of the 20th overpowering now as it was on that frigid night in 1941.”

ACO Principals are joined by clarinettist Paul Dean and dynamic young pianist Saleem Abboud Ashkar, making his Australian debut.


At the Sydney Opera House performance, the musicians will be projected simultaneously onto a big screen behind the stage, giving you a fascinating close-up view.

Southern Courier

"This was an evening where two disparate works made for an exhilarating and satisfying whole."

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The Australian

"It was a searing conclusion to a concert where artistic quality eventually won out over physical adversity."

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Sydney Morning Herald


"After the colossal power of the Dance of Fury and Welter of Rainbows, Rathbone's delicate solo, accompanied by gentle urging from the piano, made the ascent to immortality with radiant ease."

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Sue Thorvaldson


"I had the great fortune to see the ACO concert in Sydney yesterday. Thank you so much for a wonderful time. The Schubert was very enjoyable, but the Messiaen was beyond that. It was truly sublime. What an etherial and transcendent performance!  It was like waking from a dream at the close." 



"I have been holding off writing about this concert at Angel Place on Wednesday 18th July because I needed to get my feet back onto the ground again. As Helena's final notes floated heavenwards I became aware that I was holding my breath - Messiaen does this to me! Also,  there were those magical few seconds pause before the applause came - the audience was really good because  they restricted their coughing to between movements! My companion was absolutely speechless following Messiaen as he had not experienced him previously but I had warned him of the effect he can have particularly when played so well as on Wednesday. Beautiful beautiful playing from all six players in both pieces and welcome to Saleem.  As always, thank you to the ACO."

Selected Audio