Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Elliott Carter dies at 103

At last, this little life could no longer contain him. He required the larger space of history.

Carter's was one of the great lives of our time, longer and more productive than most. He truly used all of the time he was given, which was both an inspiration and a rebuke, and he left a body of work that will nourish me for the rest of my life. There is more here to celebrate than mourn, I suppose, but still, I can't help feeling a little cheated today. When a man lives long enough, I somehow expect him to live forever.

I'll miss Mr. Carter's preconcert talks, the interviews, the birthday festivals. Most of all, I'll miss looking forward to each new composition, and to the surprise and delight each one afforded. The store is now closed. The work is finite.

I'll always be grateful that the last time I spoke with him, at his 103rd birthday concert, was the one time it seemed we really connected. He was smiling and outgoing and seemed genuinely tickled with all the attention he was getting.

By happy coincidence, I recived Alisa Weilerstin's beautiful new recording of Mr. Carter's Cello Concerto the very day he died. I listened to it this morning as I was sending out emails, and I will get basck to it just as soon as I can.

Thanks to Colin Green for sharing this link:

1 comment:

john schott said...

The end of an era for me, for the USA, for music, for modernism. I am somehow very sad and very happy. Thanks Joe. I "met" you posting to the Bridge Records forum about Carter releases. I immediately recognized a kindred spirit. Here's to E.C., and us.