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CARTER, E.: Late Works (Aimard, Currie, I. Faust, Queyras, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, BBC Symphony, O. Knussen)


Ondine ODE1296-2

   Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, February 2019
   Classicalsource.com, April 2018
   BBC Music Magazine, April 2018
   Music for Several Instruments, December 2017
   MusicWeb International, December 2017
   Gramophone, December 2017
   MusicWeb International, December 2017
   The WholeNote, October 2017
   MusicWeb International, October 2017
   BBC Music Magazine, October 2017
   Gramophone, September 2017
   burning ambulance, August 2017
   The Guardian, August 2017
   David's Review Corner, August 2017
   Records International, August 2017
   Music for Several Instruments, July 2017

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Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, February 2019

Anyone wishing to be exposed to High Modern masterpieces from the very decade we are currently within (give or take) should not hesitate about this one. Carter was undoubtedly among the greatest of the last really brilliant Serial/Post-Serial composers of our time. I suspect his music will be heard and loved by music appreciators for many centuries hence. © 2019 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review




Colin Anderson
Classicalsource.com, April 2018

The artists here may be various, so too the locations and recording engineers, but there are two constants, Oliver Knussen and producer Andrew Keener. It’s a seamless listen and a gratifying one, the performances as scrupulous as the notation, and neither is a barrier to emotional engagement, the sound quality being ideally clear and immediate. © 2018 Classicalsource.com Read complete review



BBC Music Magazine, April 2018

There couldn’t be a better tribute to Elliott Carter than this recording, featuring five premieres and an all-star line-up of performers. It’s a dazzling showcase of the American composer’s late music.

It would be hard to ask for better performances. Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard is fiery yet delicate, well matched by percussionist Colin Currie. There’s virtuosity aplenty from the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group under Oliver Knussen, and with the piano trio, Epigrams, Aimard, violinist Isabelle Faust and cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras sign off in impeccable style. © 2018 BBC Music Magazine



Dean Frey
Music for Several Instruments, December 2017

Top Ten Discs for 2017

The late flowering of Elliott Carter was amazing; so many of these works show the touch of genius, and many come from after Carter’s 100th birthday. What a valuable compilation! © 2017 Music for Several Instruments




Hubert Culot
MusicWeb International, December 2017

Carter’s longevity was quite remarkable and I find it still more remarkable that he composed till the very end of his long life. What is more, I think, is that his last works as recorded here never sound as an old man’s music. In fact his music remained as strictly argued and crafted as before even if at times seemingly more accessible, which—I think—was due to a greater fluency gained from his long experience. Most works in this release are fairly short and compact but still packed with substance. The quality of the music and the strong commitment from the performers make this superb release a must for all admirers of Carter’s sometimes exacting but always rewarding music-making. In short: this release is THE essential listen of 2017. © 2017 MusicWeb International




Richard Whitehouse
Gramophone, December 2017

Ondine’s release of late works by Elliott Carter reaffirms this composer’s fluency and inventiveness into his 11th decade. Featuring dedicated exponents such as pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard and conductor Oliver Knussen, with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, it embodies the highest standards of composing, performance and production. © 2017 Gramophone




Leslie Wright
MusicWeb International, December 2017

Carter’s longevity was quite remarkable and I find it still more remarkable that what must surely be the definitive recording of this music for years to come is a cause for celebration. These works, all of which Carter composed from age 95 and beyond, attest to his undiminished vitality, wit, and astounding creativity. It was obviously a labour of love for the performers, including pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard and conductor Oliver Knussen. © 2017 MusicWeb International



David Olds
The WholeNote, October 2017

There is both playfulness and tension, harmony and discord. © 2017 The WholeNote Read complete review




Leslie Wright
MusicWeb International, October 2017

I cannot think of a better way to honour Elliott Carter and his vast compositional career than this CD. It is a pity he did not live long enough to hear these recordings. Along with the exceptional performances in state of the art sound, the thorough and well written notes further contribute to what is surely one of the best discs of contemporary music released so far this year. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review




BBC Music Magazine, October 2017

Astonishment seems the most natural response to these seven pieces, which are brimming with youthful energy and Haydnesque, impish wit… © 2017 BBC Music Magazine




Richard Whitehouse
Gramophone, September 2017

Aimard’s credentials in Carter were established with a highly impressive account of Night Fantasies and he tackles this always demanding pianism with alacrity and perception. He brings a more varied timbre to Dialogues than the excellent Nicolas Hodges and enjoys better coordination than the New Music Concerts Ensemble. …the playing of both BCMG and the BBC SO benefits greatly from the guidance of Oliver Knussen, whose accounts of the Concerto for Orchestra and Symphonia are staples of the Carter discography. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Steve Hicken
burning ambulance, August 2017

Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, a longtime champion of Carter, plays all of these pieces with style, seemingly endless technique, and understanding. He is joined by percussionist Colin Currie for Two Controversies and a Conversation, as colorful and at times fleet-footed a piece as Carter ever composed. This piece, in part due to Currie’s masterful explanation, is more evidence for the idea that Carter was one of the greatest percussion composers we’ve had. © 2017 burning ambulance Read complete review




Andrew Clements
The Guardian, August 2017

Carter was always fortunate in the musicians who played his music, and the loyalty it inspired in them is beyond doubt too. No one has been a more committed champion than Oliver Knussen, and he conducts all the orchestral pieces here with his familiar feisty clarity. Pierre-Laurent Aimard is the equally quick-witted soloist in the piano works, and he’s joined by Isabelle Faust and Jean-Guihen Queyras for the piano trio, which is dedicated to him. It all makes a fitting tribute. © 2017 The Guardian Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2017

During his long life, the American-born composer, Elliott Carter, was generally regarded as an interesting maverick who had rejected music’s conventions. By the time we reach his scores from the present century, he was totally involved in his own sound-world which was totally given to atonality, and had abandoned his early influences of Copland and Ives. Something remotely approaching a piano concerto, Interventions uses all of the participants sparingly and much different to the contrasting sounds between keyboard and brass we have in Dialogues 1, completed four years earlier, and certainly more easily approachable. Soundings also belongs to this group of four pieces, its description ‘for orchestra’ contrasting sounds between keyboard and brass with a major piano role, though it is the solo for tuba that provides the score with a memorable passage. Written for the British percussionist, Colin Currie, Two Controversies and a Conversation, is mostly a gentle score in which the percussion paints subtle colours, the orchestra being employed in its chamber format. Two works written in 2012, the year of his death, Instances for a chamber orchestra is of transparent texture, and Epigrams, for piano trio, offers twelve short pieces that owe everything to the Second Viennese School, the ending in a defiant outburst. Almost all of the disc is in the premiere sound recording classification, and performed by Carter advocates, the pianist, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, playing a pivotal role, with Oliver Knussen conducting the orchestral works. Superb sound quality. © 2017 David’s Review Corner



Records International, August 2017

A very useful collection of expertly performed examples of the inexhaustible inventiveness of Carter’s last decade, including five world premiere recordings. The eloquent, conversational counterpoint of 2003’s Dialogues is balanced by the sparer, breathless yet bright-eyed and alert Dialogues II, with its deliciously cheeky toccata and ‘grand gesture’ finish and the dramatically compressed piano concerto Soundings from 2005—quite different from either. © 2017 Records International Read complete review



Dean Frey
Music for Several Instruments, July 2017

This disc is a treasure trove of music by a great, great master. It’s amazing how many of these pieces were written after Carter turned 100 in December 2008. Lest you think that “drama” implies heaviness, the work that’s lightest on its feet is Instances, the last music Carter wrote before he died in 2013. According to Ludovic Morlot, who performed the premiere in Seattle, “When he got into his 90s and his 100s, suddenly there was more a human dimension to it.” This is Late Syle at its best! © 2017 Music for Several Instruments Read complete review





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