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Music Of Elliott Carter Vol 7 / Knussen, Hodges

Release Date: 12/27/2005 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9184   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Elliott Carter
Performer:  Nicolas HodgesFred Sherry
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London SinfoniettaBBC Symphony OrchestraASKO Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

You would never guess that these four compact, vivacious, and imaginatively crafted concertos are the work of a man in his 90s. No doubt about it, Elliott Carter is simply amazing. His creative output keeps increasing with age, while his uncompromising style also has grown more accessible, emotionally immediate, and even humorous. The Boston Concerto, for example, features rapid, shimmering pianissimo passages (depicting rain showers) that bleed into delicate, sustained woodwind phrases demarcated by gentle percussive punctuations. There's also fanciful interaction between percussion, piano, harp, and pizzicato strings. Think of a 21st-century counterpart to Berlioz's Queen Mab Scherzo, or the Sheep
Read more Episode from Richard Strauss' Don Quixote on fast-forward.

Similar lightness, transparency, and wit defines Carter's most recent work on this disc, the Dialogues for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, with Nicolas Hodges as assured and relaxed as can be at the keyboard. The Asko Concerto, written in January 2000, is a kind of concerto grosso where 16 players are divided into smaller units that play fleet, whimsical phrases framed by recurring ensemble ritornellos. Oliver Knussen leads a slightly quicker and more delicately textured interpretation than heard in the disc premiere under Peter Eötvös on ECM. Although I think Eötvös' broader pacing allows for more characterful, spotlit solo work (the clarinet and double bass duo, for instance), I prefer Knussen's more incisive chording in the loud tuttis. In other words, the performances complement each other.

Fred Sherry's almost offhanded mastery of the Cello Concerto's deceptively facile solo part conveys an idiomatic fluency, dance-like countenance, and conversational ease that I don't remember hearing from Yo-Yo Ma's world-premiere rendition. In fact, all four performances are put together with the utmost care, benefiting from glorious, realistic engineering. Carter fans cannot afford to miss this important release.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Dialogues by Elliott Carter
Performer:  Nicolas Hodges (Piano)
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2003; United States 
Date of Recording: 01/24/2004 
Venue:  BBC Maida Vale Studio no 1, London 
Length: 13 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Boston Concerto by Elliott Carter
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2002; USA 
Date of Recording: 04/06/2004 
Venue:  BBC Maida Vale Studio no 1, London 
Length: 16 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Concerto for Cello by Elliott Carter
Performer:  Fred Sherry (Cello)
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2001; USA 
Date of Recording: 04/07/2004 
Venue:  BBC Maida Vale Studio no 1, London 
Length: 20 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Asko Concerto by Elliott Carter
Conductor:  Oliver Knussen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ASKO Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2000; USA 
Date of Recording: 04/26/2000 
Venue:  Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Holland 
Length: 10 Minutes 38 Secs. 

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