Tuesday, December 02, 2003


Extraordinary nonogenarian Elliott Carter's opera 'What Next', premiered in 2000, is newly available on ECM, along with 'Asko Concerto'. And no, it doesn't have a question mark in it. Amazon has a good Carter Soundworld list, too.

Oliver Knussen and the London Sinfonietta gave the UK premiere of 'What Next' in 2001. Matthew Rye of the Telegraph wasn't hugely impressed at the time. Let's hope he has a different experience this time.

Meanwhile Carter remains a strong advocate of maximalism:

"If you write one bar and then repeat it over again, the music ceases to have anything to do with the composer, from my point of view, anyway. It means a person's stopped living. It doesn't have anything to do with music. Well, it obviously does, because some people think it's very good. But I don't understand that. I think that one of the big problems we live with is that that kind of repetition is everywhere, in advertising, in public address systems, and in politicians always saying the same thing. We live in a minimalist world, I feel. That's what I think. Those other people can think what they think." (From an interview with Geoffrey Norris earlier in 2003).

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