“Elliott Carter...is a composer coming close to a century old who goes on producing music that is exciting, precision-tuned and just beautiful.”
Paul Griffiths, writer and Carter collaborator, reflects on Carter’s legacy on the eve the BBC Symphony’s January celebration “Get Carter! The Music of Elliott Carter.” From 13 – 15 January, the festival presents three days of concerts, talks, and documentaries of Carter’s life, work, and times. Repertoire ranges from String Quartet No. 2 to the Double Concerto; Variations for Orchestra to the piano solo Night Fantasies; The Minotaur Suite and Symphony No. 1. Film screenings include Alan Benson’s 1988 BBC TV “South Bank Show: Elliott Carter,” director Frank Scheffer’s 2004 “A Labyrinth of Time,” and the 1988 documentary “Elliott Carter — Time is Music.”
Griffiths continues, “[His] music is complex, certainly, but also immediate, speaking with rage, regret or, most likely of all, abundant good humor...It is not hard to get Carter...His works exhibit continuous powers of refreshment, in which space, timing, texture and color are approached in many different ways, within each score and from one to another. There are great gusts of imagination sweeping around...Carter’s works express his personal qualities of courtliness and geniality, his sense of humour and his impatience;...they belong in the highest US tradition of idealism and openness.”
Still astonishingly creative and energetic, Carter turns 97 on 11 December.