Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mr. Carter at 104

Today is the 104th anniversary of the borth of Elliott Carter. Note the change in phrasing. Last year, we observed Mr. Carter's 103rd birthday. He was still celebrating birthdays then, and he would have celebrated another today if he had lives just one more month.

To mark the anniversary, as well as the passing on Sunday of Charles Rosen, I listened to Rosen's recordings of 90+ and the wonderful Piano Sonata from 1945. (Also listened to Rosen's excellent recordings of the Beethoven Sonata Op. 111 and Webern's Variations Op. 27.)

There are several works Mr. Carter wrote in the last few years of his life — some quite significant — that still cry out for commercial recordings, among them In the Distances of Sleep, a Sunbeam's Architecture, the Three Illusions, the Flute Concerto and Nine by Five. Now that the catalog is closed, I am hoping we may all see (or hear) all of it on CD. Bridge, that indispensable label, has already issued eight volumes in its Carter series. Vol. 9 is due, and I'm sure it is being planed, but money, of course, is always a consideration.

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