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Re: [charlesives] Carter on Ives

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  • Anne Ozorio
    ... He doesn t have a beef. He s genuinely in awe of Ives the man, but less so on the late Ives material that he was editing, which I believe is still in
    Message 1 of 21 , Mar 27, 2006
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      On 26 Mar 2006 at 17:06, Frank Camiola wrote:

      > I have just started to explore Carter's music, and in short, I love his
      > music. He is brilliant, a genius for sure.
      >
      > My question is why does he give a rat's ass about what Ives did in *his* own
      > music, especially when he is talking about the lone bassoon part, for
      > instance, in that Lesh interview? He talks like it directly affected him.
      > Very strange. I also recall the comments about him accusing Ives of
      > "doctoring" his music in his later years in order to make it seem more
      > avant-garde. This guy was a friend of Ives? Somebody who got encouragement
      > and support to help him become a composer? I guess I just understand this
      > relationship between Ives and Carter. Am I missing something? I love
      > Carter's music, but he really comes off like a regal asshole sitting high on
      > his mighty throne.
      >
      > Can anybody elaborate on why Carter made/makes these comments? What is his
      > beef?

      He doesn't have a beef. He's genuinely in awe of Ives the man, but
      less so on the late Ives material that he was editing, which I
      believe is still in manuscript. That's fair enough, because not
      every composer's work is top notch, especially whatever Ives was
      writing in later years. In trying to edit Ives unpublished material
      Carter was hoping to uncover something playable that would reflect
      well on the older man. If that had worked, we'd have more Ives to
      listen to. Carter has greater experience and knowledge (fact, not
      opinion), and is too honest to pretend. Also, I think he knew Ives
      would not have condoned fake flattery. A few years ago, Carter wrote
      "Figment no 2, Rememberng Mr Ives" which might express some of his
      feelings. Even fifty years after Ives death, Ives is still an
      inspiration for Carter even if he didn't like everything.


      Anne
      anne.ozorio@...
    • mhberest
      In addition to the claim of Ives jacking up dissonances in Three Places, there is also a less known comment where he stated listening to Ives s use of
      Message 2 of 21 , Mar 27, 2006
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        In addition to the claim of Ives jacking up dissonances in "Three
        Places," there is also a less known comment where he stated listening
        to Ives's use of polyrhythm in "The Fourth of July" told him what NOT
        to do when composing his own Double Concerto, I recall he made some
        comments about the coda of "July" being nothing but "a blur," and so
        making the work unsatisfactory.

        Well, as Forrest Gump might say, polyrhythmic is as polyrhythmic does.
        When everything goes off at once on the 4th of July, is it clear, or
        a blur? Beneath the supposed awe of Carter continues the patronizing
        idea Ives was never a real composer, just an unlearned primitive who
        produced interesting, but hardly technically adroit things.

        The book used for a survey of modern music class I took in college,
        Joseph Machtlis's "Introduction to Contemporary Music," written in
        1961, says the following about Ives"

        "There are crudities and rough spots in Ives's style, as there are in
        the prose of Theodore Dreiser, in the verse of Whitman. These are
        traceable on the one hand to Ives's temperament, on the other to the
        fact he never heard his music, he was not impelled to limit himself to
        what an audience could readily assimilate. His desire to express all
        the facets of life precluded his developing a homogeneous style. Nor
        did he ever acquire that solidity of technique which marks the
        professional composer."

        A page or so later, he repeats the great cliche: "Charles Ives is our
        great primitive."

        No similar comments are to be found in Mr. Machtlis's section on
        Elliot Carter. There, it's gush, gush, gush. "Of the composers who
        came into prominence in the mid-Forties, none is more widely admired
        by musicians than Elliot Carter. His works are not of the kind that
        achieve easy popularity. But their sureness of line. profundity of
        thought and maturity of workmanship bespeak a musical intellect of the
        first order."

        Actually, the only thing I've ever heard of Carter's I found
        interesting was his early ballet, the Minotaur. At the concert in
        college I heard the Largo from Ives's Pre-First Violin Sonata played,
        they played Carter's Webernian "In Memoriam Igor Stravinski," a work
        so brief it had to be played three times to fill in the normal space
        in the program for a work. All I recall is a bunch of dry
        serial-sounding canons. All Milton Babbitt Ivory Tower type of stuff.

        You can be technically adroit and have no soul. But I don't hear the
        absence of a homogeneous style or solidity of technique Machtlis
        claims there is in Ives. I do not hear a primitive. I do not have
        problems with "the Fourth of July." And the "Country Band March" and
        "1776: Overture and March," the components dovetailed to create
        "Putnam's Camp" are often _more_ dissonant than the later version with
        the "jacked up dissonance." Most people don't know these earlier
        works, but Mike Shaffer, I think, can back me up on what I'm saying
        about them.

        Few people have perfectly unsullied motives for their statements or
        editing together of other statements. Machtlis weaves a comment by
        Aaron Copland together with his complaints about Ives's style to give
        the impression Moses-Like Aaron also thought Ives "a weekend
        composer." But the words of Aaron Copland, taken separately, say
        something different:

        "He lacked neither the talent nor the ability nor the metier nor the
        integrity of the true artist--but what he most shamefully and
        tragically lacked was an audience. 'Why do you write so much--which no
        one ever sees?' his friends asked, And we can only echo, 'Why
        indeed?' and admire the courage and perseverance of the artist."

        To me, these are not the words of someone who thinks of Charles Ives
        as a primitive. So who is more perceptive? Carter or Copland? You
        tell me.

        --- In charlesives@yahoogroups.com, "Anne Ozorio" <anne.ozorio@...> wrote:
        >
        > On 26 Mar 2006 at 17:06, Frank Camiola wrote:
        >
        > > I have just started to explore Carter's music, and in short, I
        love his
        > > music. He is brilliant, a genius for sure.
        > >
        > > My question is why does he give a rat's ass about what Ives did in
        *his* own
        > > music, especially when he is talking about the lone bassoon part, for
        > > instance, in that Lesh interview? He talks like it directly
        affected him.
        > > Very strange. I also recall the comments about him accusing Ives of
        > > "doctoring" his music in his later years in order to make it seem
        more
        > > avant-garde. This guy was a friend of Ives? Somebody who got
        encouragement
        > > and support to help him become a composer? I guess I just
        understand this
        > > relationship between Ives and Carter. Am I missing something? I love
        > > Carter's music, but he really comes off like a regal asshole
        sitting high on
        > > his mighty throne.
        > >
        > > Can anybody elaborate on why Carter made/makes these comments?
      • Anne Ozorio
        ... Unless, you ve heard Carter, Mike, don t judge too quickly. The Minotaur was a dead end stylistically which he never revisited. When Carter returned
        Message 3 of 21 , Mar 27, 2006
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          On 28 Mar 2006 at 4:45, mhberest wrote:

          > Actually, the only thing I've ever heard of Carter's I found
          > interesting was his early ballet, the Minotaur. At the concert in
          > college I heard the Largo from Ives's Pre-First Violin Sonata played,
          > they played Carter's Webernian "In Memoriam Igor Stravinski," a work
          > so brief it had to be played three times to fill in the normal space
          > in the program for a work. All I recall is a bunch of dry
          > serial-sounding canons. All Milton Babbitt Ivory Tower type of stuff.

          Unless, you've heard Carter, Mike, don't judge too quickly. The
          Minotaur was a dead end stylistically which he never revisited. When
          Carter returned from Europe he was full of big ideas like all young
          guys who've seen the world, and Ives seemed old fashioned. Moreover,
          Ives harboured a resentment mixed wiuth jealousy about the ease with
          which Carter was accepted into the European avant garde. In later
          years they saw more of each other, and Carter's attempt to make
          something of Ives material was his way of making the older man happy,
          and perhaps finding something wonderful in his unknown work.

          Carter's real tribute though is the way the spirit of Ives runs
          through his music. It brims with multiple directions, polyrhythms
          and ideas about time and memory. You might recognise Ives in the
          Double Concerto for Harpsichord and Piano (!!!) First there's the
          quirky idea the David of the harpsichord taking on the Goliath of the
          grand piano. (the harpsichord wins !). A bit like Ives himself it
          doesn't stand a chance against the big guns of the orchestra and
          sometimes it seems to go underground, like a river, but it persists.
          Think of Ives way of juxtaposing orchestras against each other : you
          get the Concerto !

          Even more explicitly, there's one of Carter's masterpieces, , A
          Symphony of Three Orchestras. Recognise that ? It's based on Hart
          Crane’s poem The Bridge. Crane paints a panoramic picture of
          American urban life through dozens of fleeting images. His present
          takes in the ancient Indian past, industrial capitalism, urban chaos,
          the jazz age, and above all the role of the individual in this vast
          canvas. He repeatedly focuses on the ordinary people, outcasts and,
          to the world. This is an Americana much closer to Ives' humane and
          warm hearted love of the ordinary man than Copland's somewhat
          artificial Cowboy music.

          http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/2006/Jan-
          Jun06/carter4.htm

          http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/2006/Jan-
          Jun06/carter2.htm



          Anne
          anne.ozorio@...
        • Georgie
          ... patronizing ... primitive who ... ******************* Well said, Mike. The late Bob Z, who was a member of this group, would have approved. Before I
          Message 4 of 21 , Mar 28, 2006
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            "mhberest" <mberest@...> wrote:
            >
            > ... Beneath the supposed awe of Carter continues the
            patronizing
            > idea Ives was never a real composer, just an unlearned
            primitive who
            > produced interesting, but hardly technically adroit things.
            >
            >
            > You can be technically adroit and have no soul.

            *******************

            Well said, Mike. The late Bob Z, who was a member of this
            group, would have approved. Before I ever knew about Carter's
            attitude toward Ives's music, I tried to like Carter's music ---
            people whose musical taste I trusted assured me that it was
            worth the effort to develop a taste for Carter --- I tried --- but
            Carter's music just did not "click" with me. The same with the
            music of Sir Michael Tippett --- I think that Havergal Brian
            (sometimes called "the British Charles Ives") was a much
            greater composer than Tippett, perhaps even greater than Britten
            --- I would rank Brian on the same high level as Ralph Vaughan
            Williams. Yet the American and British musical establishments
            insist on the towering greatness of Carter and Tippett. Maybe it's
            just my contrarian sales-resistance to such pronouncements
            from on-high. I hear that conductor Leonard Slatkin is no great
            fan of Carter. I guess that I just gravitate toward mavericks who
            go unrecognized by the establishment until after they are dead ---
            Harry Partch is also an eccentric favorite of mine. I understand
            that Carter's scores are beautiful to look at --- and I am in awe of
            the technical prowess of anyone who can appreciate his scores
            and enjoy them. I just figure that I made an honest effort, and ,
            for some reason, my temperament was just not suited to his
            music.

            Georgie M
          • Douglas Jordon
            ... Same here. I heard the WW Quartet in college and liked that, metric modulations and all that, and the Duo for Violin and Piano which I heard live, but
            Message 5 of 21 , Mar 28, 2006
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              --- Georgie <gmatusk@...> wrote:

              > I
              > tried --- but
              > Carter's music just did not "click" with me.

              Same here. I heard the WW Quartet in college and liked
              that, metric modulations and all that, and the Duo for
              Violin and Piano which I heard live, but that's it. I
              bought a recording of one of the string quartets and
              tried hard to get into, but it made no impression on
              me at all. I also went to his 95th birthday concert
              and while his music was clearly superior to the other,
              younger composers, I'm unmoved by it. I sometimes
              wonder what I'm missing.

              To my way of thinking, Ives didn't have to be clever;
              he had talent. And that talent shines through chiefly
              through his expressiveness, not as much through his
              intellectual machinations, strong as they are.

              We should remember that composers often are ambitious
              people, highly opinionated, competitive and often
              divisive and sometimes intentionally so. Controversy
              is good for publicity, not that composers are
              publicity-mongers, but surely they strive to control
              their own portrayal often by contrasting themselves.
              And journalists frequently look for controversies to
              exploit.

              Carter now praises the Concord, but I've read that he
              wrote a scathing review of it in 1939(I can't find it
              - the dates don't entirely make sense since 1939 was
              before the premiere, no?). Is it possible that Ives
              enduring appeal has caused Carter to be more
              accommodating?
            • Afmmjr@aol.com
              There have been some good points made here. My own involvement with Carter s music has not been positive. As a bassoonist, I know Carter s Etudes and a
              Message 6 of 21 , Mar 28, 2006
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                There have been some good points made here. My own involvement with Carter's music has not been positive. As a bassoonist, I know Carter's Etudes and a Fantasy WW Quartet well, often warming up with one of the etudes. But I never warmed to it as music.

                Listening to Carter's Piano Concerto in Philharmonic Hall, I fell asleep, embarrassed by my inability to find something musically enriching to lock into.

                When I called his home about the Universe Symphony, his wife cut me off by saying she had to go because the water was boiling on the stove.

                Alas, I do think that much of Carter's success is money and promotion. There are some who think the beginning of a rift between he and Ives ocurred when Carter had set up some performances for Ives in Europe. Ives turned Carter down (but did not turn down Slonimsky).

                Perhaps Carter and Copland, plus many others, saw Ives over their shoulders as a threat, much like Jascha Heifetz was a threat to later generations of violinists.

                One point worth raising, Ives did not edit his music much in the sense of rewriting. Copland called him on this. However, if this is true, how could Ives's later music be any different than his earlier music on this point. The shocking truth may be that Carter just didn't get it. But that's okay, because there is a long list of people who don't get it.

                Johnny


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Anne Ozorio
                ... When the Concord came out Carter was just back from Europe full of modernist avant garde ideas. Like many young guys he got carried away by what by what
                Message 7 of 21 , Mar 28, 2006
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                  On 28 Mar 2006 at 9:39, Douglas Jordon wrote:
                  > Carter now praises the Concord, but I've read that he
                  > wrote a scathing review of it in 1939(I can't find it
                  > - the dates don't entirely make sense since 1939 was
                  > before the premiere, no?). Is it possible that Ives
                  > enduring appeal has caused Carter to be more
                  > accommodating?

                  When the Concord came out Carter was just back from Europe full of
                  modernist avant garde ideas. Like many young guys he got carried
                  away by what by what he thought. Bear this in mind when trying to
                  assess Carter without knowing anything about the man and his music !

                  (and Carter has always promoted Ives all these years so and
                  acknowledges his influence)




                  Anne
                  anne.ozorio@...
                • mhberest
                  ... off by saying she had to go because the water was boiling on the stove. Johnny, when I read this, you just about made my day. VICTORY!!!
                  Message 8 of 21 , Mar 28, 2006
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                    > When I called his home about the Universe Symphony, his wife cut me
                    off by saying she had to go because the water was boiling on the stove.

                    Johnny, when I read this, you just about made my day.

                    VICTORY!!!
                  • Douglas Jordon
                    ... How much do I need to know to assess him?
                    Message 9 of 21 , Mar 28, 2006
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                      Anne Ozorio wrote:

                      >
                      >When the Concord came out Carter was just back from Europe full of
                      >modernist avant garde ideas. Like many young guys he got carried
                      >away by what by what he thought. Bear this in mind when trying to
                      >assess Carter without knowing anything about the man and his music !
                      >
                      >
                      How much do I need to know to assess him?
                    • Felipe Pagliato
                      There s an awful lot of it that seems to me to be filled with uncertainty, and not only uncertainty of decision, but the idea of what effect this will have
                      Message 10 of 21 , Mar 28, 2006
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                        "There's an awful lot of it that seems to me to be
                        filled with uncertainty, and not only uncertainty of
                        decision, but the idea of what effect this will have
                        when it's played is it seems to be not very
                        well-calculated. He didn't have very much experience
                        except with rather amateurish theater orchestras and
                        when he started to write for a big orchestra, there
                        was a great deal of uncertainty. He has instruments
                        like the bassoon in the middle of a noisy
                        orchestration playing some nonsense, playing an
                        exercise that you get out of a bassoon book. Well, you
                        can't hear it, why does he play? Or if he does play,
                        why doesn't he play something that adds to what's
                        being heard?"

                        I don't know if that's true, I mean, if Ives really
                        wrote nonsense lines like that. Considering he studied
                        with Horatio Parker, Ives did have to learn how to
                        write for a big orchestra!

                        "...playing an exercise that you get out of a bassoon
                        book". Well, what about that? I can't see clearly what
                        he meant. If you hear Carter's music, you'll perceive
                        that he is the kind of composer that likes to explore
                        what the instruments can give... and in a very
                        technical way. Ives was more a 'sensible' composer
                        than technical; but yet, nothing he wrote is there on
                        the score without a reason, every note is justified.

                        Well, see you... and sorry for my bad english;



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                      • mhberest
                        ... Very true. Ives was writing for the big orchestra from the late 1890 s onward. There is no problem with the orchestration in the 2nd Symphony. Carter
                        Message 11 of 21 , Mar 28, 2006
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                          > I don't know if that's true, I mean, if Ives really
                          > wrote nonsense lines like that. Considering he studied
                          > with Horatio Parker, Ives did have to learn how to
                          > write for a big orchestra!

                          Very true. Ives was writing for the big orchestra from the late
                          1890's onward. There is no "problem" with the orchestration in the
                          2nd Symphony. Carter talks like Ives had absolutely no grounding at
                          all in orchestral writing, that he just started playing around with
                          orchestra not really knowing what he was doing, going by the theater
                          orchestra performances to tell him what worked and what wouldn't.

                          If you want me to play the self-appointed expert for a change, those
                          repeated exercise book ostinati have the function of parsing the
                          music. It is not only in the Universe Symphony Ives uses "cycles."
                          You hear them in Central Park, Unanswered Question, Hallowe'en, and
                          others. Ives has rejected the traditional "multiples of 16 bars"
                          framework that have separate sections of a work in the past; something
                          has to take their place. It's not necessarily something that
                          demarcates sections by being part of the common pulse of the whole
                          musical fabric. The cycles in Central Park and UQ are "out of sync"
                          with the other music played against them, yet things still manage to
                          end or begin right on the downbeat of them.

                          If something is being played over and over again, it does not
                          necessarily have to be something complex (although it can be--think of
                          the cyclical piano "theme" repeated over and over in Cycle III of
                          Pulse of the Cosmos). In fact, against a complex fabric, something
                          simple and repetitive will be easier to pick out if being played by an
                          instrument supposedly blotted out by the rest of the orchestra.

                          That is this self-appointed expert's opinion as to why having a
                          bassoon play an "exercise book" passage in the middle of a tutti makes
                          perfect sense.

                          I'm sorry I don't have the decades of technical expertise Mr. Carter
                          does to be able to analyze music like a trained musician. Forgive me
                          my ignorance.
                        • Afmmjr@aol.com
                          That is this self-appointed expert s opinion as to why having a bassoon play an exercise book passage in the middle of a tutti makes perfect sense. I m
                          Message 12 of 21 , Mar 28, 2006
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                            "That is this self-appointed expert's opinion as to why having a
                            bassoon play an "exercise book" passage in the middle of a tutti makes
                            perfect sense.

                            "I'm sorry I don't have the decades of technical expertise Mr. Carter
                            does to be able to analyze music like a trained musician. Forgive me
                            my ignorance."



                            Well, I am a professional bassoonist and my reaction is Mr. Carter is dealing crap. Firstly, if there is a composer who that could not write at all well for bassoon, it would be Bruchner. The bassoon is buried in much of orchestral music since it often serves as a glue between instrumental colors. While as with the Baroque style, Ives treats his music through a counterpoint lens, offering each voice a melodic distinction.

                            If there was ever a piece that had unrealistic balances, it would appear to be the Universe Symphony. If the awful myth perpetuated by Cowell were to be believed, the balances between instruments would be even more impoverished. And yet, modern recording technique allows a balance now between all instruments, even bassoons. Not only is this true through the studio recording where each instrument is individually balanced, but orchestras have microphones that are set to pick up and balance all the delicacies.

                            It is Carter's music that sounds like an exercise. Where is there a bassoon line in Ives that was not thought out, that is not representative of the instrument? Gee, it reminds me when Harold Goltzer of the NY Phil castigated me when I was playing in his section for playing while the brass were playing simply because no one would ever be able to hear the bassoons. He showed me how to pretend I was playing. It's more the lot of the bassoon than any cause for blame for Ives.

                            Johnny Reinhard










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                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Afmmjr@aol.com
                            What hokam. Truly, I know all the excercise books for bassoon. Honest. What ever could he mean? Answer: nothing. He picked the bassoon out of a hat because
                            Message 13 of 21 , Mar 28, 2006
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                              What hokam. Truly, I know all the excercise books for bassoon. Honest. What ever could he mean?

                              Answer: nothing. He picked the bassoon out of a hat because it is the least audible and understood instrument of the orchestra. Shame.

                              JR

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Felipe Pagliato <fpagliato@...>

                              "...playing an exercise that you get out of a bassoon
                              book".



                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • mhberest
                              It is a shame most people think of the bassoon as a really, really low English horn. It has the deep and rich sonority and poignancy of the cello, but
                              Message 14 of 21 , Mar 28, 2006
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                                It is a shame most people think of the bassoon as a really, really low
                                English horn. It has the deep and rich sonority and poignancy of the
                                'cello, but contributes much more of a "sheen" to the texture, if that
                                makes any sense. People don't even bear in mind that the arguably
                                single most well-known passage in modern music--the opening of Le
                                Sacre--uses it, and in a way to jerk your attention to what's going on
                                long before those chugging, hammered polychords everybody thinks the
                                whole piece is about start up.

                                I've noted the strange wistfulness of the bassoon solo at the end of
                                Universe. True, this tone color was an educated guess on Johnny's
                                part, but I don't think anyone with the least bit of familiarity with
                                "The Earth is of the Heavens" doubts this is the tone color Ives would
                                have chosen.

                                Not only would a trombone be inappropriately bombastic for a passage
                                where the Earth is dissolving into the Heavens, but the bassoon
                                assists in the chamber-like subtlety of that passage, the dreamy,
                                almost unnoticeable bending of the eighth tones in the line, and the
                                seamless melting and blending into the final chord.

                                The problem is most people think loud is profound. They like eight
                                trumpets blaring, all the strings proclaiming, in some kind of
                                affirmative allegro finale. We mostly lack the discernment to
                                understand the need, sometimes, to meditate, to contemplate, to sit
                                still just to be able to hear one bird off the in the distance, or a
                                bee moving from flower to flower.

                                The bassoon is one of the instruments--and because of the deepness of
                                it, probably the most fitting one--to evoke that sense of musical
                                meditation.

                                --- In charlesives@yahoogroups.com, Afmmjr@... wrote:
                                >
                                > What hokam. Truly, I know all the excercise books for bassoon.
                                Honest. What ever could he mean?
                                >
                                > Answer: nothing. He picked the bassoon out of a hat because it is
                                the least audible and understood instrument of the orchestra. Shame.
                                >
                                > JR
                                >
                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > From: Felipe Pagliato <fpagliato@...>
                                >
                                > "...playing an exercise that you get out of a bassoon
                                > book".
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                              • Frank Camiola
                                ... Not to beat a dead horse, but.... My take is that I like Carter the composer, not necessarily Carter the person. I have no problem separating the two. I
                                Message 15 of 21 , Mar 31, 2006
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                                  > It is Carter's music that sounds like an exercise. Where is there a
                                  > bassoon line in Ives that was not thought out, that is not representative
                                  > of the instrument? Gee, it reminds me when Harold Goltzer of the NY Phil
                                  > castigated me when I was playing in his section for playing while the
                                  > brass were playing simply because no one would ever be able to hear the
                                  > bassoons. He showed me how to pretend I was playing. It's more the lot
                                  > of the bassoon than any cause for blame for Ives.
                                  >
                                  > Johnny Reinhard

                                  Not to beat a dead horse, but....

                                  My take is that I like Carter the composer, not necessarily Carter the
                                  person. I have no problem separating the two. I know that may be difficult
                                  or impossible for some people, but that is fine if that is how they feel.
                                  His ego seems a big too big for his britches for my taste

                                  Carter's music is extremely cerebral to me, yet it satisfies a part of me
                                  that yearns for that specific "genre" (if you will). Whereas Ives' music is
                                  generally FULL of emotion almost in every compositon that I have ever heard
                                  (and the emotions run the gamut of just about every conceivable feeling),
                                  Carter gives me this abstract, almost mechanical world of art. His
                                  orchestrations are brilliant, and if you haven't heard his Concerto for
                                  Orchestra, I highly recommend that you do at some point. The ideas,
                                  textures, colors, etc. whiz by at a super-rapid pace and it almost leaves
                                  the listener scratching his/her head and muttering "What 'n the hell just
                                  happened?". Same with his string quartets. The man is a major American
                                  composer, and one of the most original at that. I have just received a disc
                                  of one of his latest compositions called Symphonia (along with the Clarinet
                                  Concerto) with Knussen/BBC. I'll post my impressions after a spin or two.

                                  Frankie
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