In 1997, the eminent American composer Elliott Carter teamed with British music critic/librettist Paul Griffiths to create the one-act opera What Next? Hailed by the New York Times as "theatrically dynamic" and "poignant," the opera explores how six people work together to emerge from the wreckage of an accident. Today, What Next? enjoys a prominent position in Carter's celebrated "late late" compositional period.
In the first book to focus exclusively on one Carter composition, Guy Capuzzo uses the metaphors of communication, cooperation, and separation to trace the dramatic arc of What Next? Through an approach that places stage action, words, and music on equal footing, Capuzzo's readings of four excerpts from the opera reveal the inner workings of Carter and Griffiths's tragicomedy.
Elliott Carter's "What Next?": Communication, Cooperation, and Separation sheds light on a significant work by a major figure in twentieth-century concert music and will be of interest to all who study American music, vocal music, and musical criticism.
Guy Capuzzo is associate professor of music theory at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro.
Buy What Next? from ECM Recordings
"Guy Capuzzo presents a detailed analysis of one of Elliott Carter's most ambitious and enigmatic compositions. In elucidating the inner workings of Carter's musical language he makes a significant contribution to Carter scholarship, and to the literature of contemporary music theory."--John Link, William Paterson University
A fascinating study. . . . Capuzzo addresses the inner clarity and expressive immediacy of 'What Next,' as well as the tragicomedy."OPERA NEDERLAND [Mark Duijnstee] Capuzzo's prose style is plain-spoken and approachable. . . . Lively and rewarding. OPERA NEWS [Arlo McKinnon] Full review at http://www.operanews.com/Opera_News_Magazine/2013/4/Departments/Elliott_Carter_s_What_Next.html
First Published: 15 Sep 2012
13 Digit ISBN: 9781580464192
Imprint: University of Rochester Press
Series: Eastman Studies in Music
BIC Class: AV
Details updated on 23 May 2013
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Preliminaries
- 3 An Analytic Approach to What Next?
- 4 Identity Formation in Episodes 1-2
- 5 Communication and Irony in the Explanation Episodes
- 6 Cooperation and Confusion in the Hope Episodes
- 7 Communication and Gender Breakdown in Episodes 37-38
- 8 Appendix: Libretto Excerpts
- 9 Notes
- 10 Bibliography
- 11 Index