Tuesday, 25 October 2016 | 20:30 | Abdij van Park Kerk

Few artworks have as haunting a creation story as the Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time), written by Olivier Messiaen in 1944 in the prisoner-of-war camp Stalag VIII-A in Görlitz. The POW camp was also where the quartet had its premiere, before an audience of hundreds of prisoners.

The masterwork was the unlikely product of a long series of coincidences. In this performance, actor François Beukelaers reconstructs and gives commentary on the miraculous combination of circumstances that led to the work’s creation. He draws on Messiaen’s foreword to the score, a few fragments from the Apocalypse (to which the quartet’s title refers) and Richard Powers’ novel Orfeo (in which the Quatuor features heavily).

This is followed by the performance of Messiaen’s masterwork, without interruption, from the fragile Liturgie de cristal (Crystal Liturgy) to the obstinate Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus (Praise to the Eternity of Jesus). The sober yet safe environment of the Park Abbey forms the perfect setting for this requiem concert.

In context of THE FUTURE IS MORE. 500 JAAR UTOPIA / Coproduction AMUZ


Kazuo Fukushima: Requiem / Olivier Messiaen: Quatuor pour la fin du temps


Jan Christiaens, 19:45


Het Collectief & François Beukelaers

The Quatuor pour la fin du temps is one of Het Collectief’s all-time favourite pieces. The ensemble has performed the work dozens of times, and their CD recording of it has been highly acclaimed. At the request of Festival 20/21, Het Collectief and François Beukelaers will join forces for a semi-staged performance. The eminent Flemish film and stage actor François Beukelaers, now has the opportunity to express his great love for Messiaen’s music for the first time.

Abdij van Park Kerk

Abdij van Park 7 (via Geldenaaksebaan)
3000 Leuven



Abdij van Park 7 (via Geldenaaksebaan)


Lijnen 4 / 5 / 6 Halte Broekstraat
Lijnen 284 / 285 / 630 Philipssite

Not on time?

Late-comers will not be admitted to the concert.