Author Topic: The Carter Corner  (Read 175095 times)

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Offline Al Moritz

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #480 on: March 04, 2008, 10:19:18 AM »
the passion of this discussion is all good ...but the best music from the 3 names above is mainly found in their late/mature output, showing that they continued to hone and develop and most importantly distill all that into profound pieces that for the most part greatly surpassed many prior achievements...not so sure the same can be said for Elliott Carter..who's best stuff seems to be largely behind him (50s & 60s) and fewer highlights since those days...

I felt the same way, until recently.

The Symphonia, the Dialogues and the Boston Concerto can compete with his best work from the 50s and 60s, and I wouldn't say those are the only ones.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2008, 10:22:45 AM by Al Moritz »

Offline Guido

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #481 on: March 04, 2008, 10:34:41 AM »
My impression of the Cello Concerto was quite different from yours. I was in awe of it and remain so to this day. I think it's one of his greatest works, and to my ear, it is a direct descendant of the the white hot manner you admire.

Yes, absolutely. Those searing chords of the last section are overwhelming. Love this piece! (and many others that have been mentioned on the thread). Thinking about it, his contribution to cello music, while fairly small in number of actual pieces (4) has been enormous. Hopefully the cello concerto will join the sonata as a repertoire piece.

I still have not heard the Second and Third quartets, but have heard the other three. Must do something about that...
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Joe Barron

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #482 on: March 04, 2008, 10:37:44 AM »
Yes, but the “problem” with Carter was that his modernist style was so radical and new when it broke through that obviously it had to elicit associations with the “avant-garde” concept very much alive at the time (I am apparently not the only one who perceived it that way). And the avant-garde promise, which involves constant future change, is hard to keep

Well, avant gardism may require pertpetual revolution, but it might not require perpetual revolution of each individual avant gardist.  in any event, if I understand you correctly, what you're saying is your problem with Carter was one of expectation.

As for being a die hard fan, well, yes, I am, but there are other fans on this site, not at all die hard, who find much to admire in Carter's recent work. (And I vowed never to find safety in numbers! Strange how when you're identified as a fan of or an expert on something, or someone, your opinions become suspect. Shouldn't it be the other way around?)

Listen to Catenaires, and you'll hear the sense of discovery still in operation ...  :)
« Last Edit: March 04, 2008, 11:10:50 AM by Joe Barron »

Joe Barron

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #483 on: March 04, 2008, 10:41:26 AM »
his contribution to cello music, while fairly small in number of actual pieces (4) has been enormous. Hopefully the cello concerto will join the sonata as a repertoire piece.

Let's see. By cello pieces I guess you mean the ones that showcase the instrument:  the Cello Sonata, the Cello Concerto and the two Figments. But there's also some wonderful cello writing in other pieces, particularly the string quartets and small works like Enchanted Preludes.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2008, 10:43:17 AM by Joe Barron »

Offline Al Moritz

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #484 on: March 04, 2008, 04:11:14 PM »
Hey Al, this year I'm going to try make an effort to explore KS's later output...you seem like a fan, what in your estimation is the best of the best from the later stuff. Things are that are perhaps up there with things like the early klavierstuck, gruppen, zeitmasse, kontakte or mantra? Thanks in advance.

O.k., I'll give a few suggestions of single CDs, since you expressed budget concerns before:

1. Oktophonie (CD 41), an impressive piece of electronic music.

2. Welt-Parlament (CD 51), a densely polyphonic a cappella work that has had spectacular success winning over several skeptical listeners on a precursor of this message board.

3. Two CDs from the Klang cycle, CD 83 (Himmelfahrt, for synthesizer, soprano and tenor) and CD 84 (Freude for two harps).

4. A bit earlier (1974), but essential, is Inori, an orchestral work.

You can read about most of those works on my website,

http://home.earthlink.net/~almoritz/stockhausenreviews.htm

Al

Joe Barron

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #485 on: March 04, 2008, 05:25:33 PM »
Take it to the Stockhausen thread, guys.   $:)

He said "Himmelfahrt!" Tee hee hee!  :P
« Last Edit: March 04, 2008, 05:38:16 PM by Joe Barron »

Offline Al Moritz

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #486 on: March 05, 2008, 04:43:09 AM »
Ok, I transfered question and answer to the Stockhausen thread.

Offline Guido

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #487 on: March 05, 2008, 12:14:05 PM »
He said "Himmelfahrt!" Tee hee hee!  :P

haha!

Yes, well as I've said before, I think the cello sonata is one of the finest of the 20th century and may well be my favourite 20th century cello sonata (And I know it would be ridiculous to choose one, or rank them in any order), and the cello concerto is one of the most significant contributions to the genre in my opinion since the Lutoslawski and Dutilleux concerti. Of course I agree that his other cello writing is often superb and I am particularly reffering to the Enchanted Preludes and 2 figments. I suppose what I mean is his contribution to the modern cellists' solo repertoire has been very significant (aside from any other brilliant writing that he may have supplied her with!)
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Joe Barron

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #488 on: March 07, 2008, 08:43:48 AM »
ANNOUNCEMENT

An EXCLUSIVE conversation between Elliott Carter and Phil Lesh will mark the 20th anniversary of The American Music Center's Counterstream Radio, a station dedicated to showcasing new music by U.S. composers. Listen to this conversation on March 14 at 3 p.m. ET.



« Last Edit: March 07, 2008, 08:46:52 AM by Joe Barron »

karlhenning

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #489 on: March 07, 2008, 08:45:30 AM »
We'll be back in just a minute with Elliott Carter, but first, let's break for "Box of Rain" . . . .

Joe Barron

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #490 on: March 07, 2008, 08:47:44 AM »
We'll be back in just a minute with Elliott Carter, but first, let's break for "Box of Rain" . . . .

I'm the pride of Cucamonga ...

I have the transcript of a conversation between Lesh and Carter recorded a few years ago, and it's one of the best interviews Mr. Carter has ever given. I'm wondering whether next week's broadcast is the same one or newer.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2008, 08:53:15 AM by Joe Barron »

Joe Barron

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #491 on: March 17, 2008, 12:34:38 PM »
Well, the Flute Concerto appears to be finished. It has been listed in the composer's catalog at Boosey's Web site. Thirteen minutes. Sounds rather nice, and the scoring shows it may be performed either by chamber ensemble or full orchestra. Strings are listed at 2.2.2.2 but may be increased proportionately. (Clever on Mr. Carter's part, since it will most likely be done by smaller groups.)  First performances are scheuled for next June in Berlin.

Which raises the question: What Mr. Carter is working on now...?  ;)

The interview with Carter and Phil Lesh is still available on demand at counterstreamradio.org. At forty-four minutes, it's worth your time. Lesh does most of the talking, as you'd expect, since he's the much younger man, but Carter still has some interesting things to say.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2008, 08:08:50 AM by Joe Barron »

Mark G. Simon

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #492 on: March 17, 2008, 03:14:54 PM »
The thin scoring would also insure that the flute doesn't get overwhelmed.

Joe Barron

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #493 on: March 17, 2008, 03:34:54 PM »
The thin scoring would also insure that the flute doesn't get overwhelmed.

I would bet Mr. Carter took balance into account when he made the larger orchestra an option.

 0:)
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 03:45:40 PM by Joe Barron »

Joe Barron

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #494 on: March 18, 2008, 12:46:11 PM »
Here is Mr. Carter's program note for his brief new work for string orchestra, Sound Fields:

In thinking about musical contrasts between thick textures and thin ones, I had the idea of composing a piece which depended only on such contrasts, always remaining at the same dynamic and tone color using strings non- vibrato.  Helen Frankenthaler’s fascinating Color Field pictures encouraged me to try this experiment.

- Elliott Carter
   8/1/07


I plan to be at the world premiere at Tanglewood this summer.

Offline Al Moritz

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #495 on: March 28, 2008, 05:07:31 PM »
Lately I had been listening to the outstanding jazz of John Coltrane. The rapid, fluid lines that the saxophonist was able to improvise are impressive. He was a quick-thinking musician who could start the build-up of a complex musical argument without any warm-up phase.

Since the Clarinet Concerto of Carter is on the same disc as Symphonia, which I had extensively rediscovered in recent weeks, I listened to it again as well. It had always struck me as a rather weak, one-dimensional work, with nothing that really stood out as memorable in its melodic lines.

But now, with the fresh experience of Coltrane’s jazz in my mind, my perception changed drastically, at once. I discovered a striking resemblance between great jazz improvisation and this concerto.

Also here, in the faster movements, you have those rapid, fluid lines in the solo instrument, only that there is more flexibility in tempo and gesture – if this were improvisation, it would be an almost superhuman effort. Only composition of the solo part allows for such music. Also, the ensemble play is much more interactive than in jazz. Again, I say all this not to diminish the finest achievements in that genre.

In in its similarity to jazz improvisation the Clarinet Concerto is quintessentially American music. It also adds to the idea of what another direction of avantgarde jazz might be – if this were actually jazz. A great piece of music.

***

Recently I have actually started to crave to listen to Carter’s music, something that had never happened before to me, except perhaps with the 3rd string quartet. The weekend prior to last I listened again twice to the Symphonia. I loved it.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2008, 05:09:38 PM by Al Moritz »

Offline Guido

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #496 on: March 28, 2008, 06:05:46 PM »
You might try the cello concerto - it is in many ways fairly similar to the clarinet concerto, but I think an even stronger work. Like the clarinet concerto it takes a few listens to get into, or perhaps the right mindset as you described, but the effort pays dividends - its a fantastic piece!
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Offline Al Moritz

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #497 on: March 29, 2008, 12:08:07 AM »
You might try the cello concerto - it is in many ways fairly similar to the clarinet concerto, but I think an even stronger work. Like the clarinet concerto it takes a few listens to get into, or perhaps the right mindset as you described, but the effort pays dividends - its a fantastic piece!

I have briefly discussed it on page 25 of the thread. I don't see any similarities with the clarinet concerto, and I certainly don't see an affinity to the jazz idiom.

Offline Al Moritz

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #498 on: March 29, 2008, 04:14:58 AM »
I don't see any similarities with the clarinet concerto,

I take that back in view of the common features of Carter's style throughout his works, but still, the comparison with the clarinet concerto is far-fetched, in my view.

Offline Guido

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Re: The Carter Corner
« Reply #499 on: March 29, 2008, 07:18:25 AM »
I take that back in view of the common features of Carter's style throughout his works, but still, the comparison with the clarinet concerto is far-fetched, in my view.

Fair enough. Evidently we hear things in different ways.

It was good to read that you are warming up to the work, and I do hope that you will have an epiphany with the cello concerto similar to that which you had with the clarinet concerto. :D It's one of my favourite pieces.
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away