THE REST IS NOISE Quartet for the End of Time

Critics' choice

Olivier Messiaen's 'Quartet for the End of Time' is performed by Renaud Capuçon, violin, Gautier Capuçon, cello, Denis Kozhukhin, piano, and Jörg Widmann, clarinet.

(Taken to Germany as a prisoner of war in 1940, hunger and intense cold gave the French composer vivid dreams that evoked the Apocalypse. The experience inspired Messiaen to write the transcendent eight-movement work, which received its premiere in front of fellow prisoners and guards. Shostakovich's Second Piano Trio, composed and premiered in 1944, is a haunting lament for the tragic victims of World War II, and the horror of war in general.)