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Speaking of Music:
Elliott Carter

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 111 min
Event Type: Interview and Music Program Origin: KPFA

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Recorded on December 16, 1983 as part of San Francisco Exploratorium’s Speaking of Music series, Elliott Carter, who had then just celebrated his 75th birthday, (and in 2008 his 100th!), talks about his life and work, including his early friendship with Charles Ives, Edgar Varèse, and other modern composers. He describes how he was much taken with the adventurous music being composed in the early part of the 20th century, but how he himself sometimes sought to create a simpler and more melodic type of music, several examples of which are heard. After listening to several of Mr. Carter’s early recorded compositions there is also a live performance of several of his pieces for timpani, the complexity of which are described by the performer, Barry Jekowsky. Jekowsky also demonstrates Carter’s technique of “metric modulation.” Also discussed, although not heard, are the first and third songs (”Anaphora” and “Sandpiper”) from Carter’s "A Mirror on which to Dwell," which are based on the poems of Elizabeth Bishop. This is followed by a discussion of Carter’s decidedly more complex “Double Concerto” for harpsichord and piano with two chamber orchestras, several excerpts of which are heard. The program then concludes with the composers fielding questions from the live audience. Charles Amirkhanian hosts the program.

Part 1 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  Symphony No. 1 [excerpt from 2nd movement] (1942) (3:13) -- Symphony No. 1 [excerpt from 3rd movement] (1942) (3:02) -- 8 Etudes and a Fantasy [excerpts] (1949-50) -- Eight Pieces for Timpani: Improvisation [excerpt] (1949) (0:30) -- Eight Pieces for Timpani: Canaries (1949) (2:48) -- Eight Pieces for Timpani: Recitative (1949) (2:50) -- Eight Pieces for Timpani: Improvisation (1949) (2:32)
Performers:  Barry Jekowsky, timpani (Eight)
Genre:  20th Century Classical
Subject:  Carter, Elliott, 1908-; 20th century classical; Symphonies; Wind quartets (Bassoon, clarinet, flute, oboe); Timpani music; Percussion music
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Carter, Elliott, 1908-; Jekowsky, Barry
Recording Date:  12/16/1983
First Broadcast Date:  7/1/1985
 
Part 2 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  Double Concerto, for harpsichord, piano, and two chamber orchestras [excerpts] (1961)
Genre:  20th Century Classical
Subject:  Carter, Elliott, 1908-; 20th century classical; Art songs; Concertos (Harpsichord and piano); Concertos (Harpsichord and piano with instrumental ensemble)
People:  Carter, Elliott, 1908-; Amirkhanian, Charles; Bishop, Elizabeth, 1911-1979
Recording Date:  12/16/1983
First Broadcast Date:  7/1/1985
 
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