Author Topic: The Carter Corner  (Read 159468 times)

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Offline Mahlerian

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1480 on: October 26, 2016, 03:14:46 PM »
If a person can articulate it, I am actually more interested reading why a person likes Carter.

His music is lively, filled with witty turns of phrase and an ever-active texture.  He employs both the fractured textures of the Darmstadt avant-garde and the longer lines of his fellow Boulanger alumni, and in terms of character, his music embraces violence and serenity and the playful and the strident.

In short, his music embodies many of the qualities that make for great music, and I find personally that it is a pleasure and not merely a challenge to get to know one of his works.
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1481 on: October 26, 2016, 03:46:01 PM »
His music is lively, filled with witty turns of phrase and an ever-active texture.  He employs both the fractured textures of the Darmstadt avant-garde and the longer lines of his fellow Boulanger alumni, and in terms of character, his music embraces violence and serenity and the playful and the strident.

I agree with all of this. A few further comments. For me, Carter was a composer who took a lot of active listening to get into. (That's usually a good thing BTW.) I was intrigued by the sense that the music could go anywhere at any time, unlike the more form-based classical music I was familiar with.

The polyphony of it was also intriguing. One key to understanding was a quotation from him to the effect that he  was not interested in the more regimented sounds that older composers used (such as soldiers marching), but was trying to evoke the teeming, constantly shifting nature of modern urban life.

In addition, the more I listened, the more it was clear that he was exploiting something that older composers had also used, but in a more formal way: the notion that instruments have their own personalities and could interact like characters in a play. You can find this hinted at all the time in older music, but Carter put it much more in the center of his work.

Sure, you can't really whistle his compositions. But you can't whistle a play or a movie either. You have to approach the work on its own terms.

formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

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Offline Wendell_E

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1482 on: July 09, 2017, 05:07:19 AM »
To be released on Aug. 11:



1 Interventions (2007) for piano and orchestra*†
2 Dialogues (2003) for piano and chamber orchestra*‡
3 Dialogues II (2010) for piano and chamber orchestra*‡
4 Soundings (2005) for orchestra*†
5–7 Two Controversies and a Conversation (2011) for piano, percussion and chamber orchestra*-‡
8 Instances (2012) for chamber orchestra†
9–20 Epigrams (2012) for piano trio* **

Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano*
Isabelle Faust, violin **
Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello **
Colin Currie, percussion -

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group ‡
BBC Symphony Orchestra †
Oliver Knussen, conductor
“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” ― Mark Twain

blablawsky

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1483 on: December 27, 2017, 01:27:42 AM »
I'd like to hear some opinions and insights on the 1991 Juilliard Quartet recording of Carter's string quartets. For quite a while I found this recording to be less appealing than the 1974 release of quartets 2 and 3. Tonight, however, I found the 3rd quartet in the 1991 release to be one of the most appealing performances.

It seems to me that, in this recording, the instruments are most thoroughly integrated, while still retaining the spatial separation necessary for the work. Whereas other studio recordings of the 3rd quartet that I have heard (everything except for those by JACK Quartet and Composers Quartet) show the pieces and scaffolding that make up the players' understanding of its composition, the Juilliard Quartet seems to approach the work as a cohesive whole. Neither approach is necessarily better than the other, but I enjoyed the 1991 recording of the 3rd quartet because of its cohesive nature. Perhaps this difference in approaches contributed to my initial impression that the 1991 release was technically less secure than the 1974 release. I know that there are others who have this impression as well, and if you do, I encourage you to give this release another listen.

snyprrr

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1484 on: December 27, 2017, 06:46:21 AM »
I'd like to hear some opinions and insights on the 1991 Juilliard Quartet recording of Carter's string quartets. For quite a while I found this recording to be less appealing than the 1974 release of quartets 2 and 3. Tonight, however, I found the 3rd quartet in the 1991 release to be one of the most appealing performances.

It seems to me that, in this recording, the instruments are most thoroughly integrated, while still retaining the spatial separation necessary for the work. Whereas other studio recordings of the 3rd quartet that I have estrd (everything except for those by JACK Quartet and Composers Quartet) show the pieces and scaffolding that make up the players' understanding of its composition, the Juilliard Quartet seems to approach the work as a cohesive whole. Neither approach is necessarily better than the other, but I enjoyed the 1991 recording of the 3rd quartet because of its cohesive nature. Perhaps this difference in approaches contributed to my initial impression that the 1991 release was technically less secure than the 1974 release. I know that there are others who have this impression as well, and if you do, I encourage you to give this release another listen.

ComposersQuartet for 1-2 (Nonesuch), and, yes, 1991 Julliard for, at least, No.3. Are you saying the JSQ also did an LP of 2-3 in 1974? (oh yes, on Testament??). I haven't checked the Arditti or the Pacifica...  I have Arditti on No.5...

blablawsky

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1485 on: December 27, 2017, 07:42:41 AM »
ComposersQuartet for 1-2 (Nonesuch), and, yes, 1991 Julliard for, at least, No.3. Are you saying the JSQ also did an LP of 2-3 in 1974? (oh yes, on Testament??). I haven't checked the Arditti or the Pacifica...  I have Arditti on No.5...
There are two different JSQ recordings of the third quartet. One was released in 1974 and the other one was released in 1991. The Testament CD you are thinking of is the JSQ's first recording of the second quartet that was released alongside Berg and Schuman. This recording of the second quartet was made before the one released in 1974.

Offline North Star

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1486 on: December 27, 2017, 09:52:05 AM »
ComposersQuartet for 1-2 (Nonesuch), and, yes, 1991 Julliard for, at least, No.3. Are you saying the JSQ also did an LP of 2-3 in 1974? (oh yes, on Testament??). I haven't checked the Arditti or the Pacifica...  I have Arditti on No.5...
You need to hear the Pacifica if you like the music (and even if you don't, really).
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1487 on: December 28, 2017, 12:08:43 PM »
You need to hear the Pacifica if you like the music (and even if you don't, really).

Seconded!

BTW here's my Carter 4tet preference matrix, as of now:

1
3, 4, 5
2

For whatever reason, I have never quite gotten into #2, even though it seems to be a critical favorite.
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Offline bwv 1080

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1488 on: December 29, 2017, 05:38:16 PM »
To be released on Aug. 11:



1 Interventions (2007) for piano and orchestra*†
2 Dialogues (2003) for piano and chamber orchestra*‡
3 Dialogues II (2010) for piano and chamber orchestra*‡
4 Soundings (2005) for orchestra*†
5–7 Two Controversies and a Conversation (2011) for piano, percussion and chamber orchestra*-‡
8 Instances (2012) for chamber orchestra†
9–20 Epigrams (2012) for piano trio* **

Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano*
Isabelle Faust, violin **
Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello **
Colin Currie, percussion -

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group ‡
BBC Symphony Orchestra †
Oliver Knussen, conductor

Cool, anyone heard this recording compared to Knussen’s Bridge recording with Nicholas Hodges?
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum

kishnevi

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1489 on: December 29, 2017, 06:23:51 PM »
Cool, anyone heard this recording compared to Knussen’s Bridge recording with Nicholas Hodges?

I never heard the Bridge, but I have the Ondine. It's good enough, and has enough premiere recordings, that you should get it no matter how it compares to the other.

BTW, I add my voice to those that like the Pacifica Quartet CDs.

Offline Brewski

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1490 on: December 30, 2017, 04:53:25 AM »
You need to hear the Pacifica if you like the music (and even if you don't, really).

Joining the chorus of praise for the Pacifica Quartet. And that "Late Works" recording looks mighty tasty...

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Offline San Antone

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1491 on: December 30, 2017, 03:40:34 PM »
Joining the chorus of praise for the Pacifica Quartet. And that "Late Works" recording looks mighty tasty...

--Bruce

+1 Pacifica, but also the Arditti for the SQ.  That late works recording is really good (and as noted already contains some previously unavailable works), I've enjoyed it very much.

Offline arpeggio

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1492 on: December 31, 2017, 11:49:40 AM »
Joining the chorus of praise for the Pacifica Quartet. And that "Late Works" recording looks mighty tasty...

--Bruce

I got the recording and it tastes great.

blablawsky

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1493 on: January 11, 2018, 09:46:01 AM »
The New York premier of the 4th quartet by The Composers Quartet is on symphonyshare. I think it's wonderful. If you want it and can't get to it then let me know and I'll let you have the files.

I don't think the 4th quartet is so nasty - to use snyprr's word. In the end all the voices are singing the same song! I can see the connection between the quartet and Night Fantasies. For Night Fantasies I like Rosen very much.

Anyway the 4th quartet is no more nasty than Gotterdammerung. Or Beckett's Happy Days.
Hi Mandryka, do you still have the premier of the 4th quartet? And possibly a transfer of the Composers' SQ version of the third quartet? The links on symphonyshare are not working anymore.

Offline wolftone

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1494 on: February 22, 2018, 09:05:01 AM »
I came across a file supposed to be a recording of Ian Pace and the Arditti Quartet playing Carter's Quintet for Piano and String Quartet. I can't find any info on this recording on google. Does anybody have more info on this recording? I know there's another recording with Ursula Oppens and the Arditti (Mode 108); it is different from the recording in question. Carter's official website doesn't say anything about it either, so maybe it's a live recording?

Offline North Star

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1495 on: February 22, 2018, 09:45:24 AM »
I came across a file supposed to be a recording of Ian Pace and the Arditti Quartet playing Carter's Quintet for Piano and String Quartet. I can't find any info on this recording on google. Does anybody have more info on this recording? I know there's another recording with Ursula Oppens and the Arditti (Mode 108); it is different from the recording in question. Carter's official website doesn't say anything about it either, so maybe it's a live recording?

Perhaps it's a live recording from the concert mentioned here:
Quote
In October 2001 the Arditti Quartet and Ian Pace gave the premiere of Walter Zimmermann's new piano quintet De Umbris Idearum in Graz, Austria and they performed the Quintet by Carter at Ars Music Festival in March 2002. In September 2002 he appeared in 3 concerts with the Ardittis at Vevey, Switzerland
http://www.firenzesuonacontemporanea.it/en/festival/2013/20-september-9pm.html
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1496 on: February 22, 2018, 01:15:33 PM »
Hi Mandryka, do you still have the premier of the 4th quartet? And possibly a transfer of the Composers' SQ version of the third quartet? The links on symphonyshare are not working anymore.

Of course I have them! I have them on 3 hard drives and an external backup! I'll sort it either tomorrow or, if not, over the weekend.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 01:18:25 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline wolftone

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1497 on: February 22, 2018, 10:05:58 PM »
Perhaps it's a live recording from the concert mentioned here:http://www.firenzesuonacontemporanea.it/en/festival/2013/20-september-9pm.html
Don't know why I missed that. The absence of coughing makes me think the file is not a live recording, but that link seems to be the most likely answer.

Of course I have them! I have them on 3 hard drives and an external backup! I'll sort it either tomorrow or, if not, over the weekend.
I'm looking forward to this! I'm hoping this is the best rendition of the quartet (as is the Composers Quartet's recording of the 1st SQ).

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1498 on: March 01, 2018, 09:22:47 AM »
Symphony of 3 Orchestras (1976)

Carter's best 15 minutes? I'm really enjoying this hidden gem.

I've been listening to this, Boulez/NYPO (the only recording!), original LP issue.

It's a terrific piece, fascinating sound and structure, really pulls me in and doesn't outstay its welcome. One strange thing though: it's recorded on a very low level, so you really have to boost the volume to get any presence. I wonder: was this forced by the spatial issues involved? and does the CD reissue have more oomph?

At any rate, there should really be more recordings of this. I could see audio engineers wanting to take it on as a challenge, to get that whole complex canvas up there in glorious sound.

Meanwhile, more Carter listening: two song cycles, A Mirror on which to Dwell and In Sleep, in Thunder. My early impression is that Carter's style really does not fit vocal music very well. It's fine to have instruments chatting, screeching and yowling away, but when people do it...maybe my ears just haven't adjusted yet. Anyone else have problems with Carter's vocal works?
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Offline wolftone

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #1499 on: March 01, 2018, 10:52:29 AM »
Meanwhile, more Carter listening: two song cycles, A Mirror on which to Dwell and In Sleep, in Thunder. My early impression is that Carter's style really does not fit vocal music very well. It's fine to have instruments chatting, screeching and yowling away, but when people do it...maybe my ears just haven't adjusted yet. Anyone else have problems with Carter's vocal works?
I agree with you. An aspect that also contributes to what I perceive to be a lack of integration between voice and other instruments in some of Carter's vocal works is that the words are so easily discernible, whereas the instruments are experienced with more focus on their sound, rather than the semantic meaning they could refer to. Of course, at least according to Carter, there are anthropomorphic characteristics attributed to the instruments in many of his pieces, but these are expressed in terms of sound, and do not usually directly refer to semantics. It seems to me to be a bit of a missed opportunity that when he directly used language (which he drew so much inspiration from), he did not maximize its expressive capacity in relation to the whole of the work, but left some of it isolated from the rest of the composition.