“…one of the freshest, most exciting, intelligent and intriguing musical developments in Northern Ireland in too long a time.” (Michael Quinn, Culture NI)
The Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble is the only professional musical ensemble in Northern Ireland to specialise in the performance of modern and contemporary repertoire. Its remit is to give a voice to local composers and to perform their music alongside luminaries from elsewhere in Europe and the rest of the world. It aims to programme music that otherwise cannot be heard live locally, while serving as an outlet for the talent of highly specialist performers and acting as a meeting point for their innovation, ideas and enthusiasm.
Their Mini-Fest programme features two giants of 20th-century music, with works that are haunting and beautiful in equal measure. Quartet for the End of Time, for violin, clarinet, cello and piano, is one of the iconic pieces of the century, a masterpiece written when the composer was a German prisoner of war for his fellow prisoners to perform. Lasting c. 50 minutes, it is the main focus of the concert. Takemitsu’s Quatrain was written in response to the Quartet, and in homage to its composer.