Volume 9 of Bridge's Elliott Carter Edition consists of seven works from three major periods of his career. Carter's early, neo-classical music is represented by the modal song, Tell Me Where Is Fancy Bred (1938) for soprano and guitar, and two ambitious vocal settings in the Americana vein, Voyage, and Warble for Lilac Time (both composed in 1943 and orchestrated in 1979). The Piano Concerto (1964-1965) is characteristic of Carter's middle avant-garde phase, distinguished by many layers of dissonance and complex textures that sometimes threaten to overwhelm the piano part. Carter's late works show a striving for clarity and more transparent sonorities, as typified by Two Thoughts about the Piano (2005-2006), and Tri-Tribute (2007-2008), both for solo piano, and the wind quintet Nine by Five (2009). Like previous volumes, this one offers a mix of ADD and DDD recordings from different dates and venues, and the roster of various artists gives it a slightly ad hoc feeling. Because Charles Rosen's performance of the Piano Concerto with the Basel Sinfonietta is the most substantial part of the program and the most representative of Carter's maturity, it is centrally placed. The quality of the other performances is high, though, so Bridge has performed another service for Carter's legacy by preserving music that has not yet found a secure place in the repertoire.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Two Thoughts About the Piano|