Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Celebration of Some 100 Years x 150 Zillion Notes

It continues to blow my mind that Elliott Carter is still as active as he is -- 100 years old today! -- and moreover that his recent work has been some of his strongest, most incisive stuff. May we all have such long years, and so filled with atonality.

I don't know for how long, but the Boston Symphony is streaming videos of several Carter performances from Tanglewood last summer -- definitely worth checking out. The short piano concerto "Dialogues" (2003) and the colorful mixed ensemble piece "Luimen" (1997) are both fine examples of recent-period Carter; there's a seven-minute string orchestra piece up there called "Sound Fields" (2007) which is atmospheric and eerie in a distinctly non-Carterian manner. Also, among older works, the fantastic Concerto for Orchestra (1969). And the entirety of Carter's one-act opera "What Next?" (1997), although I can never get into his vocal writing.

OK, I think that's more Carter than you can listen to in the next 45 minutes.

Some ten-month-old Carter thoughts are still posted here.


Blogger nate said...

Alex Ross notes that Willard Scott is slated to announce Carter's birthday on the Today Show, along with the rest of the latest batch of 100-year-olds, sometime next week. I don't quite know how to describe that sort of cultural moment.

12/11/2008 11:43 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

I'm on what... hour three or four of listening to this carter TV thing. Awesome!

12/12/2008 5:22 PM  

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