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Elliott Carter – Complete Choral Works
1 CD | 55min | Nr. 93.231
CD 1: » Elliott Carter: The Defence of Corinth for Male Choir, Speaker and Four Hand Piano
» Elliott Carter: Tarantella for Male Choir and Four Hand Piano
» Elliott Carter: Harvest Home
» Elliott Carter: Heart not so heavy as mine
» Elliott Carter: Musicians wrestle everywhere
» Elliott Carter: To Music
» Elliott Carter: Emblems
» Elliott Carter: Let's Be Gay for Frauenchor and 2 Pianos

Following its award-winning and so very successful discs featuring works by composers such as Kurtág, Ives, and Bruckner, the SWR Vocal Ensemble of Stuttgart – one may certainly say: one of the world’s best choirs – is now presenting works by the American composer Elliott Carter, who celebrated his hundredth birthday last December. Among all the composers of the twentieth century, it was Carter who most energetically sought to form – and succeeded in forming – a synthesis of European and American styles. He kept his distance from the experiments of the American avant-garde as well as from the attempts to blend popular music and serious music. His choral works, though aiming at accessibility and intelligibility, are at the same time uncompromising.

Carter’s selection of poetic texts is also exquisite and highly demanding. They are from Ovid, Rabelais, the Jacobean poet Robert Herrick, and John Gay, the author of The Beggar’s Opera. The United States is represented by the enigmatic Emily Dickinson and by Allen Tate, one of the leading poets of the 1920s.

What is above all amazing is the stylistic variety of Carter’s choral works, which range from the adaptation of the subtle textual articulation of the Italian madrigal through the homophonic part song especially popular in Victorian England and an exuberant polyphony reminiscent of Reger to a complex combination of speaking, singing, and instrumental accompaniment – such as was realized by Stravinsky in Oedipus Rex. What is also amazing is the unique perfection of the SWR Vocal Ensemble of Stuttgart, which masters the manifold challenges of this music as if by second nature.

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