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Elliott Carter Edition, Vol. 9

Rosalind Rees , David Starobin , Tony Arnold , Charles Rosen , Steven Beck , Slowind Wind Quartet , Basel Sinfonietta , Colorado College Festival Orchestra , Elliott Carter , Scott Yoo , Joel Smirnoff Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Price: $17.39 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Conductor: Scott Yoo, Joel Smirnoff
  • Composer: Elliott Carter
  • Audio CD (May 1, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bridge Records, Inc.
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,387 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

This retrospective disc presents music composed by the late Elliott Carter over a period of more than 70 years. Unquestionably, the major work presented here is the late Charles Rosen's performance of Carter's Piano Concerto. Rosen, a great advocate of Carter's music, had recorded most of Carter's solo piano music over the course of his long career, though he never made a studio recording of Carter's brilliant concerto. The release of this radio recording, featuring the superb Basel Sinfonietta, conducted by Joel Smirnoff, was one of Rosen's last wishes. Volume 9 of Bridge's ongoing Carter series opens with vocal works of Carter's from the 30s and 40s, and proceeds to Steven Beck's electrifying accounts of late solo paino music, and the Slowind Quintet's performance of Carter's quintet, Nine by Five, completed during the composer's 101st year.

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CD contents May 4, 2013
By Y.P.
Format:Audio CD
The contents:

1. Tell Me Where is Fancy Bred (1938)
Rosalind Rees, soprano; David Starobin, guitar

2. Voyage (1943, orch. 1979)
3. Warble for Lilac Time (1943, orch. 1979)
Tony Arnold, soprano; Colorado College Festival Orchestra; Scott Yoo, conductor

4. Piano Concerto (1964-65)
Charles Rosen, piano; Basel Sinfonietta; Joel Smirnoff, conductor

5. Two Thoughts about the Piano (2007)
6. Tri-Tribute (2007-8)
Steven Beck, piano

7. Nine by Five (2009)
Slowind Wind Quintet

If you, like me, have all previous 8 volumes of Bridge's Elliott Carter Edition and are a "completist", you will need to order Vol. 9, won't you? :) Even though Amazon is showing out of stock, this CD is available from Bridge Records's website "[...]" -- there you will get the CD contents and comments as well.

+ A thought: This latest release is "thrown-together" of Carter's works spanning more than 7 decades. There used to be sort of "theme" for each volume, and I hope the later release will be more carefully planned (as in Vol.1 - Vol.7).(*) Nevertheless, I am very thankful to the Bridge Records for the adventurous programming.

++ A further thought: With the forthcoming release of Pierre Boulez's Complete Works, one wonders when Elliott Carter (11 Dec 1908 - 5 Nov 2012), arguably one of the most important composers of his generation, can get the same treatment. Of course, Carter is far far more prolific, nevertheless ....

(*) As with any collection of a (then) living composer, these issues had to be amended at later volumes as new works were composed. For example, Vol. 3 of the "complete piano music" had to be augmented in Vol. 5 by 2 later piano pieces, and again in this volume by 2 additional ones.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Bridge Records continues its extraordinary survey of the music of Elliott Carter with a selection that covers his entire career, from 1938 (when he was just turning 30) to his 101st birthday. The centerpiece of the program is the Piano Concerto of 1964-65, a complex masterpiece from Carter's heroic period. The concerto has been recorded four times previously, and one might be tempted to react to yet another one with a shrug. But one would be wrong. Soloist Charles Rosen and former Juilliard Quartet violinist Joel Smirnoff, here conducting the Basel Sinfonietta, deliver a surprisingly intimate, even romantic account that reveals another side to a piece that David Schiff described as an exploration of "the tragic possibilities of alienation on a visionary scale." Bridge producer David Starobin said to me not long ago, "This is not a modern music performance," which I think sums it up. It's exquisite.

For the rest, Steve Beck completes the recorded catalog of Carter's piano music with five of the composer's late miniatures. (I especially liked his account of the rapid-fire Catenaires, which strikes me as fleeter and less punchy than Ursula Oppens'.) Tony Arnold sings two early songs in Carter's own masterful orchestrations from 1979, and, in a rare treat, Rosalind Rees, soprano, and David Starobin, guitar, start off the proceedings with "Tell Me Where is Fancy Bred," a faux-Elizabethan setting of Shakespeare that Carter wrote in 1938 for Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre of the Air.

The final track is the premiere recording of Nine by Five, subtitled Wind Quintet No. 2, written in 2009. It takes its title from the fact that four of the five players (the horn is the exception) double on higher or lower instruments at various points in the work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthy additon to Bridge's series July 1, 2013
Format:Audio CD
In the 9th volume of Bridge Record's Elliot Carter series is an interesting collection of old and the new.

The old is represented by some of Carter's works from the 1940's - two works for soprano and orchestra, plus the intimate "Tell Me Where is Fancy Bred" for soprano and guitar. All three works have the tonal American sound of Aaron Copland and Roy Harris, but the harmonies are slightly more adventuresome.

The new consists of three piano works, all composed between 2005 and 2009. This is Carter at his most advanced and complex. The temporal modulations, the advanced atonal structure, and the incredibly technical challenges are all there -- and admirably handled by pianist Steven Beck.

Linking these two groups is Carter's 1964 Piano Concerto, performed by Charles Rosen. When heard in order, the works on this release reveals insights about Carter, and his growth as a composer. As pleasant as they sound, one can hear the seeds of his highly personal style in the 1940's works. The piano concerto still has echoes of that earlier tonal style, and look forward to the final three piano works on the album.

This is an album that rewards careful listening, and is an important addition to Elliot Carter's musical legacy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A injection of adrenaline into the heart of modernism November 25, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
For Rosen/Smirnoff/Basel Sinfonietta in the Piano Concerto alone. I bought this with Martin Boykan's Violin Concerto. They were the best performances of the most stimulating and essential music. Equaled only by the Music & Arts box of the Schoenberg Quartets by the Kolisch String Quartet or hearing Eduard Steuermann playing Schoenberg Piano music.
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