Elliott Carter and Ballet Caravan
Posted 03 September 2011 - 11:41 AM
He composed the score for Pocahontas (1936, 1939), choreographed by Lew Christensen. Some sources mention as well The Ball Room Guide (1937, chor. L. Christensen). Only suite from his last ballet The Minotaur (1947)is still performed occasionally. As musical advisor, he was the link to Copland for Billy the Kid (1938, chor. Eugene Loring), and to Virgil Thompson for The Filling Station (1938, chor. L. Christensen). Exciting times!
Carter is known for the musical device "metric modulation:" an irregular subdivision of the beat in one tempo becomes the main beat in a new tempo. By around 1950 he'd moved from neo-classicism to a complex modernist idiom, and now at the age of 102 he is still composing. His most recent premiere is described here My link. I remember him being interviewed at a New Music Concerts premiere here in Toronto at age 80, looking and sounding not a day over 60. And he had some short works premiered here just last December.
The idea of Carter as a ballet composer and advisor intrigues me and I'd love to learn more about his work.
Posted 03 September 2011 - 01:15 PM
maybe there's some information there.
Posted 03 September 2011 - 03:11 PM
In David Schiff's book on Carter there is an interesting analysis of "Minotaur" which Balanchine was supposed to do and ended up with John Taras – how Carter was composing Stravinsky by hidden means and that it incorporated its melodic shape from an ancient Greek musical fragment.
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