ELLIOTT CARTER (1908-2012): Sonatina for Oboe and Harpsichord - 1st. Movement (World Premiere Recording), 8 Etudes and a Fantasy and Nine by Five for Wind Quintet, String Trio, Retracing II for Horn, 9 Poems of Louis Zukofsky for Clarinet and Soprano, “La Musique” (Baudelaire) for Solo Voice.
Catalogue Number: 01W042
Reference: GEN 21731
Description: This is a very pleasing recital of miscellaneous works from throughout Carter's career, with one significant discographic gain. This is the elegant and utterly charming extant movement of the 1947 Sonatina for Oboe and Harpsichord, a cheerful and genial piece full of neoclassical poise and melodious invention, and romantic warmth. The Études and Fantasy just precede the monumental First String Quartet, and give the lie to the notion of Carter as an unapproachably complex composer. Expressive little character pieces, each addressing a different compositional and technical issue, they are remarkable for their clarity and charm. Carter was 103 when he wrote his concentrated little String Trio, featuring the viola in an unusually prominent rôle. Like most of the composer's late music it is brief and relatively easygoing, while still compressing many ideas into a brief span and exhibiting no diminution whatsoever of his imaginative or technical powers. The vocal pieces demonstrate Carter's natural sense of writing for the voice, reminding us that in his youth he had considerable experience as a choral tenor. The Zukovsky songs in particular are especially tender and expressive, the two "voices" duetting in affectionate dialogue. Nine by Five is the composer’s second wind quintet, written six decades after the neoclassical brass quintet. All but one of the players double their instruments, hence the title, producing a wide range of timbral possibilities in various combinations. The work has a strong pull towards tonality in some sections. Texts included. Sarah Wegener (soprano), Swiss Chamber Soloists.