Thursday, January 24, 2013

David Schiff on Elliott Carter

David Schiff's personal reminiscence of the early years of his relationship with Elliott Carter has just been printed online at The Nation, and can be read here. The piece focuses on the Cleveland Orchestra's performance, under Boulez, of Carter's Concerto for Orchestra. Schiff attended the rehearsals. I was particularly impressed by his description of Carter's calm demeanor in the face of the musicians' hostility.

At one point, Schiff says that 40 years after premiering the work, he NY Philharmonic has yet to revive it. I don't think that's quite true. The NYPO did play it again, under Boulez, in the mid-70s, and a fine — one might even say legendary — recording exists. It's available from the orchestra in a six-CD box set of American music. Perhaps Schiff means the orchestra has not revived the work since the seventies.

In any event, I envy Schiff his life and his talent, but then I envy everyone's life and talent.

No comments: