Sunday, March 02, 2008

Five Things about Ten for Carter

Network for New Music presented Ten for Carter Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.

1. Composers were commissioned for piano works ni honor of Elliott Carter's upcoming 100th birthday in December 2008. They included Milton Babbitt, Uri Caine, Jeffery Cotton, Alvin Curran, Jennifer Higdon, Jeffrey Mumford, Augusta Read Thomas, Maurice Wright, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and Jeremy Gill. Babbitt's was not completed and instead pianist Marilyn Nonken included Carter's Retrouvailles from 2000.
2. Most striking was Bells by Augusta Read Thomas, played by pianist Steven Gosling and inside the piano by Marilyn Nonken. The work was colorful and inventive, truly capturing the spirit of Carter.
3. Mumford's a celebration of Elliott was brilliant, with stellar and facile playing from Gosling.
4. Higdon's Mr. Carter's Notes and Zwilich's A Poem for Elliott were entertaining and fitting, with care and panache from Nonken's musical playing.
5. Thomas Kraines was passionate in his reading of Carter's Figment #2, and was joined by other members of Network for Con Leggerezza Pensosa (from 1990 - the oldest work on the program!) and played it not once, but twice, before intermission and at the end of the program.

Afterwards, a reception followed with a q&a with the pianists and composers. The concert was also played Friday night in NYC. Hear an interview with Jeremy Gill here about his Eliot Fragments.

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