Superb recording of new Carter.
Karl Henzy | 07/14/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Carter's Clarinet Concerto (1996), written when he was 88, is one further exploration into the possibilities of the concerto form, and here it's superbly recorded by the great Ensemble InterContemporain with Damiens on clarinet. This concerto, Carter's fifth, is lightly scored (in fact it's written for a chamber orchestra of 18 players), and consists mostly of playful, flickering "conversations" between the solo instrument and various sections of the orchestra, with two meditative "windows" of slow, wistful music in the middle. It's as if Carter saw the clarinet as an essentially social instrument, which therefore becomes quiescent when the company is gone, but really comes alive when the party gets going. The other pieces here are odd bedfellows to go with Carter--the Reich is a good example of his minimalism, the Adams, of how vapid he's become (in my opinion) after Nixon in China. The disc is well worth the price, though, for the 20 minute Carter concerto."