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Oppens Plays Carter - The Complete Piano Music


Release Date: 10/14/2008 
Label:  Cedille Records   Catalog #: 108   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Elliott Carter
Performer:  Ursula Oppens
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Ursula Oppens has been a steadfast and masterful champion of Elliott Carter's music for more than three decades, and her recital encompassing the prolific 100-year-old composer's complete piano music clearly is a labor of love. What is more, her interpretations have evolved. For example, Oppens' 1998 Night Fantasies recording (Music & Arts) abounds with dead-on accuracy and drive. However, it sounds relatively earnest and literal next to this far more flexible, overtly contrasted, and color-conscious remake. Oppens also has rethought and internalized "90 +" to the point where her detached and legato articulations now are more sharply profiled and truer to Carter's written dynamics. Read more />
In her vivid, incisive performance of the early Piano Sonata Oppens particularly relishes the grand sonorities and overtones resulting from the composer's imaginative use of the sostenuto pedal, although her softest playing ultimately lacks Charles Rosen's magical tonal allure. Two recent works appear in their first recordings: Oppens imparts a strong sense of line via her precise yet unhurried handling of Caténares' rapid repeated notes (shades of Ravel's Scarbo); conversely, she forges a welcome, multi-dimensional tonal landscape from Matribute's continuous single-line texture. Superb production values (thanks to producer Judith Sherman and the Academy of Arts and Letters' marvelous acoustics) and informative booklet notes add further value to a significant release for Carter's centennial year, or any other year for that matter.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Piano by Elliott Carter
Performer:  Ursula Oppens (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945-1946; USA 
Length: 23 Minutes 35 Secs. 
2.
Night Fantasies by Elliott Carter
Performer:  Ursula Oppens (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1980; USA 
Length: 19 Minutes 55 Secs. 
3.
90+ by Elliott Carter
Performer:  Ursula Oppens (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994; USA 
Length: 4 Minutes 59 Secs. 
4.
Diversions (2) by Elliott Carter
Performer:  Ursula Oppens (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1999; USA 
Length: 7 Minutes 30 Secs. 
5.
Retrouvailles by Elliott Carter
Performer:  Ursula Oppens (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2000; USA 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
6.
Matribute by Elliott Carter
Performer:  Ursula Oppens (Piano)
Written: 2007 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
7.
Two Thoughts About the Piano by Elliott Carter
Performer:  Ursula Oppens (Piano)
Written: 2007; United States 
Length: 10 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: United States (2005 - 2006). 

Sound Samples

90+
Retrouvailles
Night Fantasies
2 Diversions: I. -
2 Diversions: II. -
Matribute
Piano Sonata: I. Maestoso - Legato scorrevole
Piano Sonata: II. Andante
2 Thoughts About the Piano: No. 1. Intermittences
2 Thoughts About the Piano: No. 2. Catenaires

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