A Centennial Portrait in Letters and Documents
Previously unseen letters, documents and photographs trace the life and artistic evolution of Elliott Carter, and capture his friendships with fellow musicians and others.
Born in New York in December 1908, the venerable but still active American composer Elliott Carter is one of the most highly regarded figures in the music of our time. His works span more than seven decades and have been the subject of many analyses, and most of his writings have appeared in carefully edited collections. In contrast, few of the documents on his life and music, largely preserved at the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel, are known to the public. This body of material forms the main source of the present volume, which offers a richly annotated selection of Carter's correspondence and other documents, including unpublished writings, facsimiles of music manuscripts, and photographs. The book traces the biographical, intellectual, and artistic evolution of a composer who, building on American modernism and interacting with the latest developments in Europe, has forged a distinctive, highly sophisticated musical language, and captures his friendships with fellow musicians and friends such as Charles Ives, Nadia Boulanger, John Kirkpatrick, Aaron Copland, Nicolas Nabokov, and more recently, Pierre Boulez, Oliver Knussen, Heinz Holliger, Daniel Barenboim, and James Levine. Published in association with the Paul Sacher Foundation.
"There is much to be appreciated in this book, with its great quantity of information and its generous helping of photographs of people and of manuscripts of Carter's works." TEMPO
"A detailed visual image of Carter's career, interspersed with discussions of many of the works. The photographs and the letters make up a wonderfully personal account of a lifetime...The last hundred pages...are a witness to the passion that Carter's music has stimulated in so many performers...[the book] excels in its account of Carter's steady development and his integration into the musical life of the last half of the twentieth century." Charles Rosen, NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS
"For committed Carterites, the only acceptable Christmas present will be the lavishly illustrated, handsomely documented and superbly annotated Elliott Carter." FINANCIAL TIMES
"As a guide to Carter's evolution as a composer the book is marvellous." BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
"The large selection of documents, most of which were previously unpublished, provide much insight into the composer's views on a variety of topics.The elegant volume will also appeal to a wide audience.[it] is a considerable achievement and likely to find a place in most libraries and on the shelves of many Carter enthusiasts." JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY FOR AMERICAN MUSIC
"The carefully selected materials...and the commentaries that accompany them provide much insight into the composer's working methods...this volume is a considerable achievement." AMERICAN MUSIC REVIEW
"Such capable and well-informed editors...a wealth of documentary materials ...placed in the context of an editorial commentary that is unfailingly clear and to the point." MUSIC & LETTERS
"Exquisite...the authors have provided fresh material...while simultaneously creating an accessible volume that is an excellent overview of the composer's first hundred years." SIGNAL TO NOISE
"Tatsächlich ein 'Muss' für alle, die an der musikalischen Moderne interessiert sind...nicht nur eine faszinierende tour d'horizon durch Carters Leben und Laufbahn, sondern wirft 'nebenbei' auch einen neuen Blick auf die Musikgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts." POSITIONEN
"Should be in the library of every contemporary music lover." NOTES