Elliott Cater: 90+, Intermittences, Tri-Tribute

Let's think of the early and gorgeous Sonata (1945): under a certain telluric surface reminiscent of Aaron Copland and Charles Ives's hymnic impulse, it already hints at the extreme complexity of the later Carter: the one of 90+ (1994) or of Intermittences (2005), which Elena Bashkirova played in Buenos Aires in 2008. But Carter's enormous technical demands are at the service of expressivity. Time is the defining parameter of this music. Carter reinvents polyphony, and he does so in a very personal manner: each voice has its own rhythm, like characters of the same novel that never meet each other. These rhythms provide an unstable pulse of arduous execution, as it happens in “Matribute”, the third part of Tri-Tribute (2007-08). It is almost a counterpoint of gesture and texture that for a moment seems to substitute the thematic contrast. Charles Rosen, legendary interpreter of the composer, knew that this music depends as much, or more, on color and dynamics as on pitches. Kigawa is a stupendous virtuoso and his interpretation was exemplary from beginning to end. One of Carter's demands is a sensitive interpretation, crucial for revealing the music's meaning. Kigawa did not hide the multiple layers of each piece under a compact appearance; on the contrary, he exposed them and on doing so, he forced the listener to work almost as much as himself. - Pablo Gianera, La Nación