- Audio CD (January 9, 1996)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Sony Classical
- Run Time: 48 minutes
- ASIN: B000002C05
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,713 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Carter: Symphony of Three Orchestras, Varese: Deserts; Equatorial; Hyperprism
Top Customer Reviews
In the SYMPHONY, like Stockhausen's GRUPPEN, Carter divides the orchestra into three groups, and each group plays four movements, so the result is 12 overlapping movements in all. The recording of the NYP is from 2/22/77, and who better than Boulez to produce a crystal-clear rendering of this teeming complexity! There is only one thing that I would change, and that is that the piece is too short.
Here's a fantastic quote from Carter from the liner notes: "I do not want to give the impression of a simultaneous motion in which everybody's part is coordinated like a goose step. I do not want to write the kind of music that just marches on and marches off. I want it to seem like a crowd of people, or like waves on the sea -- all things that signify a much more fluid, and, to me, more human way of living."
There is an ...Read more ›
Hart Crane was my favorite poet when I was 20. I understood him then. Judging by what critics write of him today, I should say I misunderstood him then. The critics declare that Crane was lamenting the decline of American vision and promise into industrial soullessness. I heard Crane singing a paean of beauty - a vague paean, mind, but full of exultation. I hear a vibrant, exulting beauty in the music of Elliot Carter also. Perhaps I've got it all wrong. If so, don't disillusion me.
The Symphony OF Three Orchestras is a composition for three ensembles on one stage. The ensembles, chiefly melodic percussion, each play four movements of a structure at least suggestive of the traditional symphony, but each ensemble begins its movement while the previous ensemble is finishing, creating an overlapping kaleidoscopic sound. Carter declares that the listener is not expected to hear thematic development as such, but rather a fluid, human way of sounding, "like a crowd of people or waves on the sea." Well now, I suspect most people will first hear waves indeed, of beautiful noise without any clear structural intention. That may be enough to be pleasant listening. There is more to the music than rippling sounds, I promise. The deeper you listen, the more you'll hear, but don't try to write an essay about it.Read more ›
Surprisingly I did not have any of the Varèse in my collection. Well, I do have a movement of Deserts from a sampler CD so I understand what I'm missing in this. The lack of electronics makes it a very different piece. It is still enjoyable but I wish Boulez had included the electronics. Oh well, the other Varèse pieces are very good. As a Zappa fan I know I need to listen to more Varèse...
Overall I really like this - I think the Carter on the CD is about as good as late 20th century concert music gets. The price of the MP3 download makes this a no-brainer for anyone even the slightest interested in Contemporary music.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Other reviewers have made astute observations here, which don't need repeating. Wonderful performances of great twentieth century music.Published 16 months ago by nova
Elliott Carter and Edgard Varèse can be seen to represent two distinct extremes in the universe of American music. Read morePublished on May 5, 2012 by stevewheal
I have owned this CD for years. It's definitely one of my favorite compilation CDs of modern classical music. The Carter symphony is a masterpiece.Published on May 15, 2007 by Francesco Sanfilippo
Sony had already released the lion's share of their Boulez Varese on a previous CD and this was all that was left. Read morePublished on January 11, 2000