Elliott Carter’s Desert Interlude
The Juilliard String Quartet performed Carter’s String Quartet No. 5 for us just 2 weeks ago.
From the New York Times, November 5, 2012:
The turning point in Mr. Carter’s style came in 1950, when a Guggenheim Fellowship and a grant from the National Institute of Arts and Letters allowed him to leave a teaching post at Columbia University and spend a year in southern Arizona, outside Tucson. During that year in the Sonora Desert he wrote a single 45-minute work, his First String Quartet.
Recalling his desert sojourn, Mr. Carter said in a 1960 interview: “I had been waiting for just such an opportunity to give form to a number of novel ideas I had had over the previous years, and to work out in an extended composition the character, expression and logic these ideas seemed to demand. I felt that I was constantly pushing into an unexplored musical realm.”
Read the complete article here.