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Carter: Late Works / Knussen, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

Carter: Late Works / Knussen, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

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An impressive cast of artists are joining together in this Ondine recording dedicated to the late works by iconic American composer Elliott Carter. The album includes five premiere recordings, including Carter's final work Epigrams for piano trio, featuring Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Isabelle Faust and Jean-Guihen Queyras. Composer Elliott Carter's prolific career spanned over 80 years. He was encouraged towards a career in classical music by his friend and mentor Charles Ives. The earliest work included in this album, Dialogues, dates from 2003. It is a work for piano and orchestra composed of short, clearly articulated phrases. Carter wrote a sequel to the work, Dialogues II, for Daniel Barenboim's 70th birthday. Soundings was commissioned by the CSO and Interventions was written for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, James Levine and Daniel barenboim. Conversations, a mini-concerto for piano and percussion requested by Colin Currie. The following year, at the suggestion of Oliver Knussen, Carter added two brief prefatory movements and retitled the piece Two Controversies and a Conversation. Instances, for chamber orchestra, is dedicated to Ludovic Morlot, Music Director of the Seattle Symphony. Epigrams is Carter's last composition was written ''to amuse myself'' as he put it. Carter, who studied Greek poetry as an undergraduate at Harvard, was clearly drawn to the concision, surprising turns, and wit of the literary genre to which his twelve short Epigrams allude.
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