Elliott Carter: A Centennial Portrait in Letters and Documents

Elliott Carter: A Centennial Portrait in Letters and Documents


By (author) Felix Meyer, By (author) Anne C. Shreffler


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  • Publisher: The Boydell Press
  • Format: Hardback | 380 pages
  • Dimensions: 220mm x 284mm x 32mm | 1,701g
  • Publication date: 16 November 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Woodbridge
  • ISBN 10: 1843834049
  • ISBN 13: 9781843834045
  • Illustrations note: 60 colour, 30 black and white
  • Sales rank: 1,229,486

Product description

Born in New York in December 1908, the venerable but still active American composer Elliott Carter is one of the most highly regarded figures in the music of our time. His works span more than seven decades and have been the subject of many analyses, and most of his writings have appeared in carefully edited collections. In contrast, few of the documents on his life and music, largely preserved at the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel, are known to the public. This body of material forms the main source of the present volume, which offers a richly annotated selection of Carter's correspondence and other documents, including unpublished writings, facsimiles of music manuscripts, and photographs.The book traces the biographical, intellectual, and artistic evolution of a composer who, building on American modernism and interacting with the latest developments in Europe, has forged a distinctive, highly sophisticated musical language, and captures his friendships with fellow musicians and friends such as Charles Ives, Nadia Boulanger, John Kirkpatrick, Aaron Copland, Nicolas Nabokov, and more recently, Pierre Boulez, Oliver Knussen, Heinz Holliger, Daniel Barenboim, and James Levine. This book is published in association with the Paul Sacher Foundation.

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Review quote

A detailed visual image of Carter's career, interspersed with discussions of many of the works. The photographs and the letters make up a wonderfully personal account of a lifetime...The last hundred pages...are a witness to the passion that Carter's music has stimulated in so many performers...(the book) excels in its account of Carter's steady development and his integration into the musical life of the last half of the twentieth century. NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS (Charles Rosen)For committed Carterites, the only acceptable Christmas present will be the lavishly illustrated, handsomely documented and superbly annotated Elliott Carter. FINANCIAL TIMESAs a guide to Carter's evolution as a composer the book is marvellous. BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE