Elliot Carter

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kombelpeter
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Elliot Carter

Post by kombelpeter » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:27 pm

I recently rediscovered the composer Elliot Carter, can anybody suggest some good recordings/pieces? :D

I heard the world premier of his horn concerto on the radio three years ago, it was simply amazing...

Jared
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Re: Elliot Carter

Post by Jared » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:44 pm

Hi K,

Its good to have you on board... :D

now, I'm fairly new to CM, so you might call me a bit of a fraud in stepping and making a suggestion, but of course it was EC's centenary last year, so his music was discussed quite a bit in the media.... a budget disk which I know had been favourably reviewed, featured Boulez and included his Oboe Concerto:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Oboe-Concerto-E ... 070&sr=1-2

however 2008/9 saw a few releases of his music, and this also received a positive review from BBC Music Mag:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Elliott-Carter- ... 070&sr=1-1


I hope that's been of service... we'll now wait for the experts to enter the thread and give you all the correct answers.. :lol:

Febnyc
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Re: Elliot Carter

Post by Febnyc » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:01 pm

I think one should hear Carter's Symphony No.1 from 1942.- it shows how his early music sounded. Lots of Americana; Copland-esque. While I admire the man and salute his longevity, I find his musical development going beyond my comfort zone. But back then - it's even listenable.

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Re: Elliot Carter

Post by THEHORN » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:10 pm

I would try his variations for orchestra , which is probably the most approachable of his atonal works(the symphony and holiday overture are not typical Carter at all), and then the first string quartet, and then the other four, plus the piano concerto.
Carter's music is not for the unadventurous.
Forget about hummable melodies, and there are so many different things going on simultaneously that one person I played some of his music for was puzzled because it was impossible to tell whether the music was fast or slow! These works are real brain teasers, but if you like a challenge, try them!
The Sony Classical recordings of the string quartets with the Juilliard Quartet were recorded under the supervision of the composer.

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Re: Elliot Carter

Post by Guitarist » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:21 pm

THEHORN wrote:I would try his variations for orchestra , which is probably the most approachable of his atonal works(the symphony and holiday overture are not typical Carter at all), and then the first string quartet, and then the other four, plus the piano concerto.
Carter's music is not for the unadventurous.
Forget about hummable melodies, and there are so many different things going on simultaneously that one person I played some of his music for was puzzled because it was impossible to tell whether the music was fast or slow! These works are real brain teasers, but if you like a challenge, try them!
The Sony Classical recordings of the string quartets with the Juilliard Quartet were recorded under the supervision of the composer.
In addition to those pieces, I suggest his Piano Sonata (almost tonal!), and his Night Fantasies for piano. Since the OP is looking for suggestions, I hope the less open-minded readers of this forum do not use it as a vehicle to denounce Carter... :wink:

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Re: Elliot Carter

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:46 pm

Guitarist wrote:In addition to those pieces, I suggest his Piano Sonata (almost tonal!), and his Night Fantasies for piano. Since the OP is looking for suggestions, I hope the less open-minded readers of this forum do not use it as a vehicle to denounce Carter... :wink:
Pierre-Laurent Aimard recorded Night Fantasies, Diversions and 90+ for Warner Classics and Ursula Oppens has all Carter's Piano Music on one Cedille CD, it's very good, sometimes a little thorny but what else do you expect from EC... :wink:
RAVEL Gaspard de la nuit. CARTER Night Fantasies. Diversions. 90+ • Pierre-Laurent Aimard (pn) • WARNER 2564 62160 (59:00)

Elliott Carter wrote Night Fantasies over the course of a year and a half, finishing just two months before the premiere in 1980 by Ursula Oppens, one of four dedicatees. That the other three, Charles Rosen, Gilbert Kalish, and the late Paul Jacobs, were among the most important champions of contemporary music at that time, and that the piece continues to fascinate and compel pianists to discover this large and bristling score speaks to it’s importance as a work of art. Now we have this remarkable pairing with another great 20th-century piano opus inspired by the sunless world, Gaspard de la nuit, of Ravel. These are two very different works, of course, the main distinction being the harmonic language. Carter is far more abstract, which is also significant in his topic. Ravel’s subject matter may be fantastical, but it does occur in a waking state, and it is rendered in a flowing narrative. Carter’s piece is as powerful an evocation of the dream world as any music I know. When I was listening to it with my 13-year-old daughter, I told her that I thought the composer was trying to create the sound of dreams. She heard merely nightmare music. With all due respect for her normally insightful commentary, the difference in our views was dictated by age and experience, for Carter’s dreamworld is very much that of an adult. There is not a substance to speak of, but an eerily familiar stream of consciousness, with the connections made by psychological nuance and bolting, sudden emotional turns.
Carter’s remarkable late-in-life burst of creativity and ceaseless imagination continues with the shorter piano works also included here. 90+ refers to his age, apparently, while the two Diversions are an almost Baroque exploration of structure and flow. Carter has a reputation for steely intellectualism, and it is impossible to appreciate this music without actively thoughtful listening, but that process will also peel away a skin to reveal a gently trickling sensuality.

Ravel’s great masterpiece is almost overexposed these days, and so it is good to find Aimard in an individualistic frame of mind about his interpretation. Aimard seems to play everything from Beethoven to Messiaen with an extraordinary feel for texture and clarity, and, as a corollary, a dry tonality. This is a sort of anti-traditionalist reading, a far cry from, say, the oozing, liquidy sound of Nojima. As such, this is, for my ears, a fresh and highly satisfying reading, in no way disrespectful to the composer’s vision. That same approach is ideal in the music of Carter.

This release also includes a separate CD, listed as an “illustrated” talk by Aimard. Just don’t expect a DVD; the illustration alluded to is by way of the pianist’s demonstrations at the keyboard, audio only. As if to underline the intellectual prowess of Aimard, he delivers the talk, quite eloquently, in three languages. This may seem like overkill, but Aimard intends this as a concept program, and his clever words underscore the marvelous work he does with his fingers. A brilliant and compelling release in every way.

Peter Burwasser, FANFARE
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

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Re: Elliot Carter

Post by Lance » Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:59 pm

No recommendatations from this corner; wish I could though.
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Re: Elliot Carter

Post by maskedman » Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:27 pm

I like Oppens for his piano works on Cedille

Symphonia, Clarinet Conc DG

Bridge records has put out seven volumes of Carters works that are marvelous....

They also have the complete music for Piano Charles Rosen.....Its good but I like Oppens better.

String Quartets you have Julliard on Sony and Arditti...on etcetra...


enjoy, Robert

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Re: Elliot Carter

Post by stenka razin » Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:02 am

Here are my favorite recordings of Carter's music in my CD collection:

Variations for Orchestra — Munich Philharmonic Orchestra/James Levine, Oehms 502

Concerto for Orchestra and Concerto for Piano — Ursula Oppens (piano), Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra/Michael Gielen, Arte Nova 277730

String Quartets 1-4 — Arditti String Quartet, Etcetera Records 2507


You cannot go wrong with the above CDs. All are highly recommennded to get to the heart of this thorny, but very listenable composer. 8)
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kombelpeter
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Re: Elliot Carter

Post by kombelpeter » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:15 am

Guitarist wrote:
THEHORN wrote:I would try his variations for orchestra , which is probably the most approachable of his atonal works(the symphony and holiday overture are not typical Carter at all), and then the first string quartet, and then the other four, plus the piano concerto.
Carter's music is not for the unadventurous.
Forget about hummable melodies, and there are so many different things going on simultaneously that one person I played some of his music for was puzzled because it was impossible to tell whether the music was fast or slow! These works are real brain teasers, but if you like a challenge, try them!
The Sony Classical recordings of the string quartets with the Juilliard Quartet were recorded under the supervision of the composer.
In addition to those pieces, I suggest his Piano Sonata (almost tonal!), and his Night Fantasies for piano. Since the OP is looking for suggestions, I hope the less open-minded readers of this forum do not use it as a vehicle to denounce Carter... :wink:
Yes, I loved the night fantasies! And don't worry, I'm rather open-minded. :D

Everybody thanks for the suggestions!

The variations for orchestra are simply amazing. It's a pity that the sheet music from his works are rather expensive, or else I could analyse it! :)

I'm going to try the piano concerto now.

Sylph

Re: Elliot Carter

Post by Sylph » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:46 am

kombelpeter wrote:The variations for orchestra are simply amazing. It's a pity that the sheet music from his works are rather expensive, or else I could analyse it! :)
It's $60, right?

You can analyse it here:

http://digital.schirmer.com/

For free.

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Re: Elliot Carter

Post by karlhenning » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:50 am

Sylph wrote:
kombelpeter wrote:The variations for orchestra are simply amazing. It's a pity that the sheet music from his works are rather expensive, or else I could analyse it! :)
It's $60, right?

You can analyse it here:

http://digital.schirmer.com/

For free.
Très cool, thanks, Sylph!

Cheers,
~Karl
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Composer & Clarinetist
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http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
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http://www.luxnova.com/

kombelpeter
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Re: Elliot Carter

Post by kombelpeter » Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:24 am

Sylph wrote:
kombelpeter wrote:The variations for orchestra are simply amazing. It's a pity that the sheet music from his works are rather expensive, or else I could analyse it! :)
It's $60, right?

You can analyse it here:

http://digital.schirmer.com/

For free.
You're a hero!

I've got the cd 'Documents of the Munich Years' with Levine as well, thanks to a great torrent. :D

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