JOHANNES MARTENS ENSEMBLE
Chamber Music by ELLIOTT CARTER
- Figments and Fragments
For this album of music by Elliott Carter, on GRAMMY award-nominated Norwegian label 2L, cellist Johannes Martens has assembled some of Norway's foremost young musicians. Tracing Carter's development through some of his most creative periods, these works - from the beautiful 1946 Elegy and the celebrated Cello Sonata from 1948 through to newer pieces for solo instruments, duo, trio and string quartet - constitute nearly a cross-section of musical evolution in the 20th century's second half.
Elliott Carter has mentioned how, as a child, he could ride his bicycle all the way down Manhattan without meeting a single automobile, a stark contrast to today's permanent traffic jam. Travelling in Europe before and after the first and second world wars, and seeing the disastrous results, he felt a need to develop music that mirrors the human situation in the modern world. Thus, his music stands as a tribute to life.
Vital and Productive at 100
- The American composer Elliott Carter celebrates his 100th birthday on December 11th, 2008
Aaron Copland termed Carter "one of America's most distinguished creative artists in any field", and Stravinsky called several of his works "masterpieces". He is internationally recognized as one of the most important voices of 20th century music. Elliott Carter's creative output the last decade is sensational in its own right, especially considering that he turns 100 in December! Of the ten pieces recorded on this disc, no fewer than eight of them were composed when the composer was in his eightieth year or later, the most recent being Figment No.2: Remembering Mr. Ives for solo cello, composed in 2001 when Carter was 92. Over fifty years separate it from the Elegy and the Cello Sonata and, while many changes in Carter's method and style can be discerned, the voice is unmistakably the same: more fluent, perhaps, and with a lighter touch than in earlier works - the mark of confidence of a supremely experienced craftsman - but also still palpably radical and individualistic in spirit, presenting formidable challenges to the performers while retaining an essential freedom and improvisatory spirit.
About the music in this album, the noted Scottish composer Stuart McRae writes: "Heard individually, the chamber works of Elliott Carter give the listener tantalising snapshots of the composer's style and technique; as a group, they represent a microcosm of his musical personality. Any selection of several pieces by the same composer will inevitably reveal similarities, traits, and preoccupations. But here is also great variety and resourcefulness: in one piece, an affectionate and playful tribute to a fellow musician; in another, a sustained grappling with the very substance of musical time; and in yet another, a dialogue or conversation between multifaceted protagonists that bring an unmistakably social aspect into musical discourse. And all the while, the music flows through a plethora of moods and characters, at one moment playful, the next impassioned, now agitated, now wistful. It is this dynamism that most distinguishes Carter's music from that of his peers; its restlessness and its ability to turn on a hair from the most skittish characterisations to the most poignantly human outpourings, but always flowing and always carrying the listener along on the tide of its composer's invention and ingenuity."
Johannes Martens is a member of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and has also been guest principal cellist of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Norwegian Opera Orchestra. Tom Ottar Andreassen is principal flautist of the The Norwegian Radio Orchestra and The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra. Joachim Kjelsaas Kwetzinsky is a much sought-after concert pianist and chamber musician. Andjei Maevski is principal clarinettist of The Norwegian Opera Orchestra. Anders Kjellberg Nilsson is widely recognised as one of Norway's most promising young violinists. Anders Rensvik is a member of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. Yi Yang is a concertmaster of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.
Sonata for Cello and Piano - Figment 1 and 2 - Enchanted Preludes - Scrivo in Vento
Gra - Con leggerezza pensosa - Fragment 1 and 2 - Elegy
Hybrid Super Audio-CD 5.1 SURROUND + STEREO produced i DXD (Digital eXtreme Definition).
This compact disc looks like a normal CD and plays on all standard players and computers.