The following is excerpted from the Dick Strawser Blogspot on Elliott Carter's 104th Birthday Anniversary.
Elliott Carter would have been 104 today. And while it’s true Beethoven would be 242 coming up on the 16th, Elliott Carter would’ve actually been 104 today if he’d lived a few weeks longer: he died on November 5th, 2012, at the age of 103, just five weeks and a day before his birthday.
Over the years, I have collected numerous scores and recording of Carter’s music and have often thought about getting a copy of David Schiff’s “The Music of Elliott Carter” which everybody points to as “the” book about Carter’s music. The price aside, the main reason I kept putting it off was the fact it was written around the time Carter was turning 70: it seemed a reasonable time for a retrospective, I guess, especially one written by a composer who had studied with him at the time. Who knew he would live another three decades? So I guess I’ve been waiting for an updated version that would include the 40 pieces he wrote between the ages of 90 and 100, and then “over 14 more” composed since he turned 100.
When a composer dies young, we wonder about the possibilities of what has been left unwritten. Yet even at 103, Elliott Carter was still composing and had plans for other new works. Given the productivity of this “Post-Late Period,” I wonder what else we might have had from him?
His last completed work is a set of 12 Short Epigrams for Piano, finished on August 13th, 2012.
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