ELLIOTT CARTER (1908-2012): Interventions for Piano and Orchestra, Dialogues I and II for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, Soundings for Orchestra, 2 Controversies and a Conversation for Piano, Percussion and Chamber Orchestra, Instances for Chamber Orchestra, 12 Epigrams for Piano Trio.

Catalogue Number: 08T050

Label: Ondine

Reference: ODE 1296-2

Format: CD

Price: $16.98

Description: A very useful collection of expertly performed examples of the inexhaustible inventiveness of Carter's last decade, including five world premiere recordings. The eloquent, conversational counterpoint of 2003’s Dialogues is balanced by the sparer, breathless yet bright-eyed and alert Dialogues II, with its deliciously cheeky toccata and 'grand gesture' finish and the dramatically compressed piano concerto Soundings from 2005 - quite different from either. The very late intricate mosaic of Instances, described by the composer as "a series of short interrelated episodes of varying character" is here, as is his final work, Epigrams, a series of witty, mercurial miniatures for piano trio, posthumously premiered by these performers at Aldeburgh. The Conversation, "quite unlike anything I'd ever written" (said the composer in his 101st year!), is a collegial dialogue between piano and percussion, both with a concertante rôle, preceded by the Controversies, written afterwards as a prelude, in which they confront each other, insisting on contradictory tempi. The disc is a delightful portrait of the genial but razor-sharp centenarian (or soon to be so) who never lost his youthful spark. Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano), Colin Currie (percussion), Isabelle Faust (violin), Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello), Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, BBC Symphony Orchestra; Oliver Knussen.

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