Sunday, 7 December 2008

Elliott Carter speaks to Ivan Hewett

Elliott Carter will be 100 years old on Thursday, the first really important composer to be around for his own centenary. (There is another composer, famous for being old, not for his music.) No such qualms with Carter, who continues to write interesting work. Mentally he's younger than people half his age. Needless to say, everyone's rushing on the bandwagon for interviews as Carter gives a great interview, full of quotable copy. There's one interview around where the writer is completely clueless about music, yet Carter is gracious enough to give the guy sufficient material to write an article that sounds plausible. "Phew!" Carter must have thought, "There's more to me than reaching 100!" Infinitely better is this interview by Ivan Hewett who actually knows Carter's work and knows music history. Carter must have had a lot more fun talking to him! There is also a programme onn BBC Radio 3 where Hewett talks about Carter and plays his music. Go to the site and it's online streaming on demand – Hear and Now usually 10.30 pm Saturdays. This is the interview definitely worth reading.

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