A Centennial Portrait in Letters and Documents
Felix Meyer and Anne C. Shreffler
367 pp. - 22,2 x 28,6 cm
13 digit ISBN: 978-1-8438-3404-5 / 10 digit ISBN: 1-8438-3404-9
Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press 2008
(not available through Schott)
The American composer Elliott Carter (1908-2012) is one of the most esteemed international figures in the music of our time. His works span more than seven decades and have been the subject of many analyses, and most of his writings have appeared in carefully edited collections. In contrast, few of the documents on his life and music, largely preserved at the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel, are known to the public. This body of material forms the main source of the present volume, which offers not only the very first representative glimpse into Carter's correspondence but many other documents, including unpublished writings, facsimiles of selected musical manuscripts, and photographs. The rich, thoroughly annotated material paints a fully rounded portrait of a composer who, building on American modernism and interacting with the latest developments in Europe, slowly and deliberately forged a distinctive musical language. It was only in his maturity, around 1960, that Carter achieved his international breakthrough. Since the 1980s he has produced a late flowering of music distinguished for its unique variety and plenitude. This publication highlights Carter's biographical, intellectual, and artistic evolution and captures his friendships with such fellow musicians such as Charles Ives, Nadia Boulanger, John Kirkpatrick, Aaron Copland, Nicolas Nabokov, and, more recently, Pierre Boulez, Oliver Knussen, Heinz Holliger, Daniel Barenboim, and James Levine.