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3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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1. Gra - Charles Neidich
2. Enchanted Prlds - Harvey Sollberger/Fred Sherry
3. Duo - Rolf Schulte/Martin Goldray
4. Scrivo In Vento - Harvey Sollberger
5. Changes - David Starobin
6. Con Leggerezza Pensosa (Omaggio A Italo Calvino) - Charles Neidich/Rolf Schulte/Fred Sherry
7. Riconoscenza Per Goffredo Petrassi - Rolf Schulte
8. Son: Moderato - Fred Sherry/Charles Wuorinen
9. Son: Vivace, Molto Leggiero - Fred Sherry/Charles Wuorinen
10. Son: Adagio - Fred Sherry/Charles Wuorinen
11. Son: Allegro - Fred Sherry/Charles Wuorinen

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Amazon.ca

With a full orchestra, Elliott Carter can spread his wings with clangorous grandness. When he goes with a smaller unit, as he does here, he can also do wonderful things--expanding on his tonal and timbral studies with telescoped intensity. This generous 78-minute collection begins in 1993 with Charles Neidich unfurling Gra for the solo clarinet, a piece that rivals anything on the extraordinary Giacinto Scelsi's Complete Works for the Clarinet for breadth and investigative power. Carter, an octogenarian when he wrote Gra, has, this collection shows, been on similar paths since at least 1948, when the CD's closer, Sonata for Violoncello and Piano, came to be. It shows off Carter's proclivity for middle-register grounding and fast outward motion, always tracking toward the unfamiliar and creating electric excitement. As a compendium of one of the greatest American composer's solo and chamber works, Eight Compositions can't be beat. --Andrew Bartlett

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Audio CD
This disc is full of some of the most interesting and beautiful compositions by one of American's greatest composers. Every piece is both delightful and challenging, and each rewards repeat listening. Some of these pieces needed some time for me to grow into them, but I very fond of all them now. Others I found to be terrific right away. You mileage may vary!
By the way, the performances are spectacular. It is difficult to imagine the possibility of performances with greater charm and commitment. The players believe in every note, and play it all with superb confidence and musicianship.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous music by one of America's greatest Feb. 3 2004
Format:Audio CD
This disc is full of some of the most interesting and beautiful compositions by one of American's greatest composers. Every piece is both delightful and challenging, and each rewards repeat listening. Some of these pieces needed some time for me to grow into them, but I very fond of all them now. Others I found to be terrific right away. You mileage may vary!
By the way, the performances are spectacular. It is difficult to imagine the possibility of performances with greater charm and commitment. The players believe in every note, and play it all with superb confidence and musicianship.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection by a genuinely colossal figure. June 30 2003
Format:Audio CD
Elliott Carter (b. 1908) is a composer whose music seems to inspire either love or hatred, with little in between. Carter started out studying with Nadia Boulanger in the 1930s, then wrote several years' worth of neo-Copland music before finally finding his own voice in the mid-1940s. Beginning with his Piano Sonata, Carter began writing in an exclusively atonal idiom, constructing works that are breathtaking in their complexity and integrity.
This is not music for the dilettantes who like to play Schubert like muzak when they are cleaning their house or chatting with friends. This is uncompromising, "serious" (often playfully so) music intended for listeners who approach it with the respect it deserves and with the willingness to spend the time required (however long that may be) to appreciate it. If you're looking for instant comprehension, look into [stuff] like "The World's Most Soothing Classical Album" and other corporate delights.
This is a truly invaluable collection, with important works culled from 45 years of Carter's creative development. The earliest work here was written when the composer was 40 and the latest when he was 85, but evident throughout is his daring, originality, extraordinary technique and adherence to his own creative vision. This is beautiful music by virtually any measure. The performances, mostly by the Group for Contemporary Music, are superb. This collection speaks for itself.
Milton Babbitt once asked, "Who cares if you listen?" The point of that notorious essay was that there is now more to music than Tchaikovsky, and that composers have an obligation to themselves and their art and not to close-minded, musically unlettered philistines.
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4.0 out of 5 stars How refreshing such vehement dislike ... Feb. 7 2002
By Jules
Format:Audio CD
Lloyd Schwartz, in his liner notes to Speculum Musicae's essential recordings of Carter's vocal works (Bridge 9014) writes of his early Frost settings that they are "like the early realistic drawings of a great abstract painter". It would be difficult to come up with a better analogy, not only for Carter's post-1950 compositions but for all works that have willfully surrendered any notion of conventional tonal centers. Tonality in this equation is the equivalent of the figurative in painting. Non tonal works are correspondingly abstract, like the paintings of Pollock or Motherwell: all figurative elements in such works are either accidental or part of a designated encounter of tonal and non tonal aspects (as in Maxwell Davies or the de Koonig of the 'women' series). Now, it is quite clear that, in music as in painting or even dance, there will a number of quite intelligent persons who will never accept the value of abstraction, who think abstract expressionism for instance so much tosh, a Greenbergian legerdemain concocted to brutally anchor american art in the history books as new, valid in its own right, not sub- par europeanism. And it is in fact unfortunate that such progressive art has too often been brandished as an ideological jackhammer, out to bring down the venerable Penn stations of the prevalent taste: this is what happens when true creativity gets ossified in academia. But for those who do not find abstraction anathema, who are as they say adventurous, it should be made clear that all the hyperbolic smoke surrounding Carter is not without fire. He may not be the greatest american composer just like Pollock is hardly the greatest american painter but there are brilliant things to discover here. Read more ›
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