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Ursula Oppens, Arditti String Quartet - Elliott Carter: Chamber Music (2000) [Re-Up]

Posted By: Designol
Ursula Oppens, Arditti String Quartet - Elliott Carter: Chamber Music (2000) [Re-Up]

Ursula Oppens, Arditti String Quartet - Elliott Carter: Chamber Music (2000)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 303 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 184 Mb | Scans included
Classical, Contemporary | Label: Montaigne | # MO 782122 | Time: 01:15:58

In his 90th year, Elliott Carter is doing something few nonagenarians ever do: he's premiering a striking new string quartet, his fifth. And it's an awe-inspiring piece. The Arditti String Quartet takes up the short phrases that run with and then against one another with sureness, plucking and scraping and making their bows sing. They then delve into each of the five interludes that interrogate the quartet's six sections and play through the disparate splinters of tone and flushes of midrange color as if they were perfectly logical developments. Which they're not. Carter has again brilliantly scripted a chatter of stringed voices–à la the second quartet–that converse quickly, sometimes mournfully, but never straightforwardly. This complexity of conversation is a constant for Carter, coming sharply to light in "90+" and then in Rohan de Saram and Ursula Oppens's heaving read of the 1948 Sonata for Cello and Piano, as well as in virtually all these pieces. This is a monumental recording, extending the documented work of a lamentably underappreciated American composer.

Review by Andrew Bartlett

It's a real shame that this Montaigne recording passed almost immediately out of print and now goes for high prices. The same thing happened with its 2001 reissue on Naive. Here were have some of Elliott Carter's best pieces for strings and piano, including the world premiere recording of his fifth string quartet. The performers have closely worked with Carter–Ursula Oppens is one of the composer's favourite pianists and the Ardittis are the dedicatee of the fifth string quartet–and this whole recording has an air of definitiveness about it.

The highlight of the disc is the world premiere recording of the String Quartet No. 5 (1994-95). A 20-minute work split into twelve moments, its even-numbered movements alternate with odd-number interludes of an informal character (but which remain precisely notated). The interludes consist of material from the even-numbered movements, and are meant to sound as if each instrumentalist were practising the challenging music that forms the quartet's main. I think that the particular challenge of the string quartet is writing a work where the listener will not notice the monochrome of the timbres, and I don't think Carter's earlier quartets really meet this. On the Fifth, however, the range of sounds feels fuller, with the four instruments sharply delineated. I like this quartet, and listen to it fairly often.

"90+" for piano (1994) was written as a 90th birthday greeting for Goffredo Petrassi. It begins as a slow count of 90 beats, around which there are chords and little keyboard runs. This may be the most technically transparent piece of the composer's maturity, and it has proven surprisingly popular among a contemporary music demographic that might not usually go for Carter's music.

This disc then takes us all the way back to 1948 with the Sonata for Cello and Piano. This is one of the earliest pieces to feature tempo modulation, and has been seen by many as the dawn of his mature work. Though the rhythms are a bit spicy, the selection of pitches seems to me much more in line with Carter's neoclassical beginnings than his mature modernist period.

"Duo" for violin and piano (1973) opens with the violinist playing long, wrenched lines while the pianist just throws in a note here and there. Eventually the piano opens a full dialogue in almost dance-like tones. This and the following "Figment" for solo cello (1994), where Rohan de Saram effortlessly pulls a world of sound out of his solo instrument, strikingly show just how lyrical Carter can be in spite of his complex modernist language.

"Fragment" for string quartet (1994) is one of the most unusual pieces in Carter's output. The composer's distinctive style has generally been busy music with lots of little details, but this four-minute piece is a soundscape of slowly moving harmonics. If you didn't know it was a Carter piece, you'd certainly never guess.

As the disc passes over the 1950s and 1960s, when Carter's music was at its most abrasive, this may be the best introduction to Carter's music for those who like little chamber works. Too bad it's now difficult to find. With the celebrations of the composer's 100th birthday this year, let's hope another reissue is on the way.

Review by Christopher Culver

Ursula Oppens, Arditti String Quartet - Elliott Carter: Chamber Music (2000) [Re-Up]



Tracklist:

01. 5th String Quartet (1994-95) 1. Introduction (01:24)
02. 5th String Quartet (1994-95) 2. Giocoso (02:29)
03. 5th String Quartet (1994-95) 3. Interlude I (01:11)
04. 5th String Quartet (1994-95) 4. Lento espressivo (01:45)
05. 5th String Quartet (1994-95) 5. Interlude II (01:18)
06. 5th String Quartet (1994-95) 6. Presto scorrevole (01:07)
07. 5th String Quartet (1994-95) 7. Interlude III (01:31)
08. 5th String Quartet (1994-95) 8. Allegro energico (02:00)
09. 5th String Quartet (1994-95) 9. Interlude IV (01:58)
10. 5th String Quartet (1994-95) 10. Adagio sereno (02:29)
11. 5th String Quartet (1994-95) 11. Interlude V (01:25)
12. 5th String Quartet (1994-95) 12. Capriccioso (01:32)

13. 90+ for piano (1994) (05:43)

14. Sonata for Violoncello and Piano (1948) 1. Moderato (05:14)
15. Sonata for Violoncello and Piano (1948) 2. Vivace, molto leggiero (04:40)
16. Sonata for Violoncello and Piano (1948) 3. Adagio (05:42)
17. Sonata for Violoncello and Piano (1948) 4. Allegro (05:47)

18. Figment for Violoncello Solo (1994) (05:13)
19. Duo for Violin and Piano (1973-74) (19:18)
20. Fragment for String Quartet (1994) (04:02)


Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 3 from 29. August 2011

EAC extraction logfile from 25. March 2012, 15:38

Elliott Carter / Elliott Carter - Chamber Music

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foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2016-01-09 13:56:54

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Elliott Carter / Elliott Carter - Chamber Music
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR17 -1.24 dB -26.96 dB 1:24 01-5th String Quartet (1994-95) 1. Introduction
DR14 -3.29 dB -23.25 dB 2:30 02-5th String Quartet (1994-95) 2. Giocoso
DR15 -1.36 dB -27.37 dB 1:12 03-5th String Quartet (1994-95) 3. Interlude I
DR14 -6.88 dB -27.86 dB 1:46 04-5th String Quartet (1994-95) 4. Lento espressivo
DR13 -9.38 dB -29.11 dB 1:19 05-5th String Quartet (1994-95) 5. Interlude II
DR13 -7.91 dB -26.81 dB 1:07 06-5th String Quartet (1994-95) 6. Presto scorrevole
DR15 -6.20 dB -26.48 dB 1:32 07-5th String Quartet (1994-95) 7. Interlude III
DR14 -3.36 dB -20.56 dB 2:00 08-5th String Quartet (1994-95) 8. Allegro energico
DR14 -4.53 dB -24.48 dB 1:58 09-5th String Quartet (1994-95) 9. Interlude IV
DR18 -8.83 dB -32.90 dB 2:30 10-5th String Quartet (1994-95) 10. Adagio sereno
DR15 -3.14 dB -22.44 dB 1:26 11-5th String Quartet (1994-95) 11. Interlude V
DR20 -0.01 dB -25.57 dB 1:32 12-5th String Quartet (1994-95) 12. Capriccioso
DR16 -2.35 dB -25.93 dB 5:43 13-90+ for piano (1994)
DR15 -4.16 dB -24.89 dB 5:15 14-Sonata for Violoncello and Piano (1948) 1. Moderato
DR15 -4.81 dB -24.64 dB 4:41 15-Sonata for Violoncello and Piano (1948) 2. Vivace, molto leggiero
DR15 -8.11 dB -27.99 dB 5:42 16-Sonata for Violoncello and Piano (1948) 3. Adagio
DR15 -1.50 dB -23.32 dB 5:48 17-Sonata for Violoncello and Piano (1948) 4. Allegro
DR16 -5.15 dB -25.13 dB 5:13 18-Figment for Violoncello Solo (1994)
DR17 -3.02 dB -25.46 dB 19:18 19-Duo for Violin and Piano (1973-74)
DR16 -6.40 dB -29.14 dB 4:03 20-Fragment for String Quartet (1994)
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 20
Official DR value: DR15

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 537 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

Ursula Oppens, Arditti String Quartet - Elliott Carter: Chamber Music (2000) [Re-Up]

Ursula Oppens, Arditti String Quartet - Elliott Carter: Chamber Music (2000) [Re-Up]