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CARTER, E.: String Quartets Nos. 2, 3 and 4 (Pacifica Quartet)

Composer(s):Carter, Elliott
Artist(s) Pacifica Quartet, Ensemble
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber Music
Catalogue 8.559363
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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To celebrate his 100th birthday, Elliott Carter’s Complete String Quartets have been newly recorded by the Pacifica Quartet, Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year for 2009. Volume 1 (8.559362) was critically acclaimed: “a knockout” (Limelight), “Music with heart as well as a brain” (4 STARS, The Times ), “the best possible introduction to Carter’s music” (5 STARS, The Guardian ). This disc presents the three remaining string quartets by the composer hailed by Aaron Copland as “one of America’s most distinguished creative artists in any field”.


Review By Mark Stryker,Detroit Free Press,March 2009

The Pacifica Quartet completes its cycle of Carter’s landmark string quartets with Nos. 2, 3 and 4 for the Naxos label , a companion to an earlier CD of Carter’s First and Fifth quartets [8.559362]. Carter’s quartets are famously knotty evocations of democracy in action, filled with argumentative dialogue, stubborn individualism and constantly migrating tempos. The Pacifica untangles the complexities and locates the emotional core with striking ease but without unnecessarily prettifying the music.


Review By David Denton, Naxos,March 2009

The second, and concluding disc of the five string quartets, was recorded last year to honour Elliott Carter’s 100th birthday. His music has stood the test of time, Carter now the grandfather of America’s cutting edge in musical modernity. Dedicated to atonality throughout most of his career, I suppose it will be future generations who become fully attuned to his musical abstraction. Harvard had seen his early studies, but it was with Nadia Boulanger in Paris that his mature education took place. That mix of American and European influences found him without any developed musical objective and he had reached his 43 year before he completed his First String Quartet. There were a further eight years before he embarked on his Second, the Third and Fourth



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