Required Listening

 

Sony has reissued the Juilliard Quartet’s recording of the first four string quartet’s by Elliott Carter with a special bonus: a 2013 recording of the composer’s Fifth Quartet (1995). The latter is an excellent addition to the set, a playful rendition that really ‘gets’ Carter’s idea of the piece as a chamber music rehearsal. This practice session model helps to explain the bits of material that seem to be ‘tried out.’ then later reintegrated into the work more fully formed. The Juilliard Quartet were long term collaborators with Carter, premiering two of the quartets and rehearsing all five extensively with him. It seems only fitting that their quartets set is finally ‘complete.’

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