- Violin Concerto
- Lauds (4), for solo violin
- Holiday Overture, for orchestra
Volume Six of The Music of Elliott Carter gives listeners a taste of how drastically Carter's compositional style has changed. The "Holiday Overture," composed in 1944, is pure "American music" and is more than a little bit reminiscent of Aaron Copland. Hints of Carter's later voice are still quite clear as the overture grows in contrapuntal complexity. The first work on the program, however, is the "Violin Concerto" of 1990. By this point, already in his eighties, Carter had clearly established his own voice and compositional style and the concerto bares little resemblance to its much younger cousin. Performed here by violinist Rolf Schulte and the Odense Symphony Orchestra, the violin clearly steals the show, even more than may be desired. While Schulte's playing seems almost effortless, the orchestra at times seems to be plodding along behind in an effort to keep up. The two very different personalities presented in the second movement, however, are very successful. The "Four Lauds for Solo Violin" alone make this recording worthwhile. Despite the amazing complexity of the music being performed, Schulte makes it sound almost easy. His technique is copious, his sound is engaging and multi-faceted, and his emotional output easily runs the gamut between ferocious and tender. Rather than being forced to confront the technical aspects of the music, listeners can actually enjoy the musical ideas being presented by composer and performer alike.