A Modernist Romantic Vision: Elliott Carter's Night Fantasies
SEP 24, 2019 | 12:45 PM TO 2:00 PM
The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
1201: Elebash Recital Hall
September 24, 2019: 12:45 PM-2:00 PM
Elliott Carter’s Night Fantasies occupies a special place in the oeuvre of one of the most influential composers of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. On the threshold of Carters late style, the piece marks the culmination of harmonic and rhythmic techniques Carter had been developing since the late 1950s. At the same time, it heralds an interest in Nineteenth-century Romanticism that began to occupy artists of all kinds in the early 1980s. In this engaging program, John Link and Mari Asakawa explore the Romantic influences that inspired Night Fantasies, the intricacies of the piece’s harmonic and rhythmic language, and the issues of performance practice raised by Carter’s remarkable composition. The emphasis throughout is on connecting Carter’s aesthetic principles and organizational techniques with the listener’s direct experience of the music through Ms. Asakawa’s performances of illustrative examples during the lecture, and of the complete Night Fantasies as the second half of the program.
For composers and theorists, this presentation will be of great interest in elucidating Carter’s compositional techniques. For performers, it addresses numerous issues of contemporary performance practice – broadly applicable to a variety of contemporary repertoires – including metrical emphasis and phrasing when the salience of the notated meter is uncertain. For musicologists, the program offers an enlightening perspective on Carter’s historical development, and on the rapidly changing aesthetics of the last decades of the twentieth century. And for music lovers of all kinds, the program is an opportunity to hear a rare live performance of a piece that the great pianist and critic Charles Rosen called “the most extraordinary large keyboard work written since the death of Ravel.”