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99 years of Elliott Carter's masterpieces in 5 days

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Although Levine wasn't present, Carter attended, and he rose to his feet time and again to join and accept the applause. In an interview with former Boston Globe music critic Richard Dyer, Carter said, "These pieces of music, if they spoke English instead of notes, they would be very grateful."

The melodies and countermelodies of the festival linger on, courtesy of the website:

Quite frankly, I had forgotten about some of Carter's music. But the 10 concerts by students and professionals, plus analytical discussions, interested me. And I didn't have to wait long to listen again to the world première of "Sound Fields," which was short enough to be immediately repeated.

During the festival, the well-attended programs ranged from pieces for one player to four players and included various chamber and orchestral pieces.

The five-day festival concluded with the BSO performing in the Seiji Ozawa Hall, where most of the concerts took place. The piece, "Three Illusions for Orchestra" and the "Horn Concerto," with James Somerville playing French horn, were led by the kinetic BSO assistant conductor, Shi-Yeon Sung.

The festival also featured an internationally recognized composer/conductor, Oliver Knussen, who took over for the performance of the "Boston Concerto," and Carter's largest orchestral work, "Symphonia: Sum Fluxae Pretium Spei (I am the prize of flowing hope)."

To me these grand pieces have so much going on that they could alone account for Carter's controversial reputation.

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