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Elliott Carter: Collected Essays and Lectures, 1937-1995 Paperback – February, 1998

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews


Jonathan Bernard's collection. . . includes several highly characteristic pieces. . . he emphasizes the more substantial and elaborate materials of the essays and lectures. Bernard's selection contains plenty of incisively articulated views, and makes a strong case for taking seriously the writings of Elliott Carter. The volume leaves the reader with as vivid an impression of the man behind the music as could be hoped for. MUSIC & LETTERS Provides a renewed incentive to engage Carter's music through critical, historical, and analytical terms. . . will stimulate further scholarly and critical attention. ISAM NEWSLETTER Elliot Carter is a major figure who, from all evidence, has satisfied his desire to make durable music. That is his primary legacy, but these writings should prove hardly less lasting. This is a well-produced book, and Carter's chosen editor, Jonathan Bernard, was ideally suited for the task of assembling it. THEORY AND PRACTICE

Product Details

  • Series: Eastman Studies in Music
  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: BOYE6 (February 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580460259
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580460255
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #724,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
For anyone interested in modern music, by whatever name (contemporary classical composition, "new music"), this book is invaluable. Elliott Carter, in my view one of the best composers of the late 20th century, has written fairly extensively over the years about his music. He was actually employed as a critic for "Modern Music" in the late Thirties, one source of these essays.

Presented here are trenchant analyses of the difficulty of being a composer of advanced works in a commercial society, including the problems of orchestras and rehearsals ("the orchestral brontosaur"), reflections on American and European music, reminiscences of his studies with Boulanger in Paris, explanations of various compositions including the First and Second string quartets and the Concerto for Orchestra, and fascinating comments on other composers, including of course Charles Ives, along with Stravinsky, Varese, the Second Vienna School, Debussy and Mozart. Carter expresses the utmost respect for Webern's exquisite miniatures, while making clear his rejection of serialism, which he never adopted.

Elliott Carter enjoys a much higher level of recognition in Europe than in the U.S., where composers of schlocky film scores are vastly more popular (ie, "Star Wars"). While noticed by only a few today, these writings will play a part in establishing Carter's future reputation as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century -- an American composer whether he was recognized by his contemporaries at home or not.
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Elliott Carter: Collected Essays and Lectures, 1937-1995
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