ELLIOTT CARTER (b.1908): Tarantella for Men's Chorus and Piano Four Hands, Let's Be Gay for Female Chorus and 2 Pianos, Emblems for Men's Chorus and Piano, The Defense of Corinth for Speaker, Men's Voices and Piano, Mixed Chorus a cappella: Heart Not So Heavy As Mine, Musicians Wrestle Everywhere, To Music, Harvest Home.
Catalogue Number: 10L106
Label: Hännsler Classic
Reference: CD 93.231
Description: All these pieces pre-date Carter's final departure from any suggestion of neo-classicism - the most recent is from 1947! - and thus all are tonal and not particularly typical of what we have come to expect since. The piano parts of Emblems and The Defense of Corinth are recognisably related to Carter's piano and cello sonatas, admittedly, but the choral writing, thoroughly accomplished and not lacking originality as it is, suggests the young American composer who studied with Boulanger, sang in the Harvard Glee Club and performed in performances of Renissance madrigals, and, influenced by Stravinsky and Hindemith, appeared to be en route to an output not unlike that of his friend and colleague, Copland. There is considerable stylistic diversity here, from the subtle and melancholy Dickinson setting to the riotous (and rhythmically tricky) Defense after Rabelais. If this had been the composer Carter had turned out to be, we would still consider him an important figure in mid-centuryAmerican music. Texts included. Andreas Grau, Götz Schumacher (pianos), SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart; Marcus Creed.