The Music of Elliott Carter
Arguably the most important American composer of the century, Elliott Carter often has been more highly regarded in Europe than in his native land. Interest in his work has grown rapidly in recent years, however, and the celebration of his ninetieth birthday in December, 1998, accompanied by numerous performances and new recordings, undoubtedly will increase the attention of his fellow citizens to this remarkable figure.
Authoritative and gracefully written, The Music of Elliott Carter engages composers, performers, and critics, and speaks to concert-goers, whether attuned to or alarmed by the formidable difficulty of Carter's music. David Schiff views the music from the perspective of the composer's development and relates his compositional techniques to those nonmusical arts—contemporary American poetry in particular—with which Carter has been deeply involved. The volume benefits from Schiff's extensive discussions of Carter's works with their most noted performers, including Heinz Holliger, Oliver Knussen, and Ursula Oppens, and from the generous cooperation of the composer himself.
This new edition, a thoroughly reorganized, revised, and updated version of the book published in 1983, accounts for the many new works written by Carter since 1980 and accommodates the burgeoning critical literature on his music. Its features include many musical examples and a selected discography. In addition to the new foreword, the composer has provided his listing of three-to-six note chords and a note on "Voyage."