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Minotaur/Piano Son/Songs (2)


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Audio CD, April 2, 1992
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 2, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000005J0H
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,093 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Minotaur: Scene I: King Minos' Palace in Crete - Overture
2. The Minotaur: Scene I: King Minos' Palace in Crete - Queen Pasiphae prepares for a tryst with a sacred bull
3. The Minotaur: Scene I: King Minos' Palace in Crete - Entrance of the bulls and the sacred bull
4. The Minotaur: Scene I: King Minos' Palace in Crete - Dance of the bulls and Pasiphae with the sacred bull
5. The Minotaur: Scene I: King Minos' Palace in Crete - Interlude - Pasiphae's heartbeat becomes the pounding of hammers used in building the labyrinth
6. The Minotaur: Scene II: Before the Labyrinth - Building the labyrinth to imprison the Minotaur who destroys men
7. The Minotaur: Scene II: Before the Labyrinth - Entrance of King Minos
8. The Minotaur: Scene II: Before the Labyrinth - Selection of Greek Victims to be sent into the labyrinth
9. The Minotaur: Scene II: Before the Labyrinth - Ariadne, princess of Crete, dances with Theseus, a Greek victim
10. The Minotaur: Scene II: Before the Labyrinth - Greek victims are driven into the labyrinth
11. The Minotaur: Scene II: Before the Labyrinth - Theseus' farewell to Ariadne as he enters the labyrinth
12. The Minotaur: Scene II: Before the Labyrinth - Ariadne unwinds her thread as Theseus, entering the labyrinth, pulls the thread after him (The Minotaur)
13. The Minotaur: Scene II: Before the Labyrinth - Theseus fights and kills the Minotaur (as his movements are transmitted to Ariadne who is holding the other end of the thread)
14. Scene II: Before the Labyrinth - Ariadne rewinds the thread to lead Theseus out of the labyrinth
15. The Minotaur: Scene II: Before the Labyrinth - The thread breaks - Ariadne is greatly dismayed
16. The Minotaur: Scene II: Before the Labyrinth - Theseus and some of the Greeks emerge from the labyrinth and rejoice
17. The Minotaur: Scene II: Before the Labyrinth - The Greeks and Theseus, forgetting Ariadne, leave Crete
18. Dust of Snow
19. The Rose Family
20. Piano Sonata: I. Maestoso
See all 21 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Personne VINE VOICE on November 15, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Elliott Carter had a long gestation as a composer. He was nearing 50 before he began to sound like, well, Elliott Carter. In the preceding decades (a full career for most composers) he developed a sure command of instrumentation and phrasing, but he was still searching for a voice. In those early years, the influences are obvious--Stravinsky, Copland (although Carter was always more layered than Copland), perhaps even Roy Harris. The teaching hand of Nadia Boulanger is also quite clear.

"The Minotaur", a ballet score, is the least appealing piece on this CD. The orchestration is assured, the instrumental interplay is confident. But for me, the piece simply doesn't jell. It's good to help complete my very large Carter collection, but I don't think I'm going to be listening very often. A much better orchestral piece from the same time period is the "Holiday Overture". That piece still carries the sense of early Carter, but the more mature composer is trying to break out.

The CD also contains two songs based on Poems of Robert Frost, sung by the incomparable Jan DeGaetani. I have another recording of this suite with three poems. I don't know if that was a later version or if the third song was excluded for some other reason. The two songs here are quite brief--so you simply have to listen many times. While the language is still the extended tonality of early Carter, the songs exemplify the good nature that pervades his music to this day. They are quite appealing. I wish he'd set a dozen more.

The "Piano Sonata" is a fine piece that begins to hint (but only to hint) at the rhythmic complexity that underlies Carter's later music.
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2 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 2001
Format: Audio CD
AMAZING recording of an AMAZING composition! Must have for contemporary fans
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