ELLIOTT CARTER (b.1908): Cello Sonata, Figment for Cello, Figment No. 2 - Remembering Mr. Ives, Enchanted Preludes for Flute and Cello, Scrivo in Vento for Flute, Gra for Clarinet, Con leggerezza pensosa for Clarinet, Violin and Cello, Fragments Nos. 1 and 2 for String Quartet, Elegy for String Quartet.
Catalogue Number: 11K092
Description: Most of these chamber works are from the past two decades, an astonishing Indian Summer of the (almost)-centenarian's creative career. Even in works for small groups of instruments, or solo pieces, Carter's preoccupation with the layering and integration of contrasting musical material, central to his mature idiom, is one of the music's most salient, and appealing, features. Whether in the impressive, quasi-orchestral chordal textures of the solo cello Figment No.2, or the interlocking yet independent voices of the flute and clarinet solos (Scrivo and Gra), one is constantly given the impression of multiple musical characters in lively conversation. The shifting polyrhythms so typical of the composer are even more apparent in the intensely expressive works for quartet (in his formal quartets Carter has arguably done more exploration of the expressive capabilities of the quartet than any other composer of our time), and the constant sense of playfulness, of lightness of touch and sheer enjoyment of his craft shines through all the works, especially Con leggerezza. The early, muscular cello sonata, prefiguring many of these characteristics in a more tonal, romanticism-derived idiom, provides the foundation of the recital. Johannes Martens Ensemble. SACD hybrid.