Friday, May 23, 2003

[155.1] GET CARTER

ECM has come up trumps again with 'Lauds and Lamentations', a superb double disc of works by Elliott Carter (still going strong) and Isang Yun (who died in 1995). At the heart of the collection are two contrasting Oboe Concertos, one by each composer. Both were written for Heinz Hollinger, a performer of extraordinary intensity and deftness. The Carter work was "spun out of invention" (Andrew Clements) in 2001. His '4 Lauds' (featuring Thomas Zehetemair on violin), 'A 6 Letter Letter' and 'Figments One and Two' stand in parallel to Yun's telegrammatic, gut wrenching solo, 'Piri'. On the Carter disc Hollinger takes notes from conductor Paul Sacher's name and fashions out of it a continuous motif for cor anglais. These discs harbour refrains and redoubts to boggle the mind and entrance the ear.

Incidentally, John F. Fink's highly developed website, Elliott Carter: A Guide to Research, is essential reading on the man and his music. It contains a fully annotated bibliography, a detailed discography, and a complete list of works, as well as appendices. The bibliography includes video recordings and interviews in addition to books and articles. A separate section on Carter's own writings is arranged alphabetically by title. Other Carter-Hollinger colaborations are detailed in the addenda.

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