Maybe it was Elliott Carter's passing last year just short of his 104th birthday that spurred the re-release of these recordings, much longed-for by admirers of Carter's music and unobtainable for many decades. Carter belongs on any shortlist of important modern composers, but the best recordings of his work have a tendency to descend into deletion limbo and stay there. These are times when even a new Mahler recording has little chance of making money for its publishers unless President Barack Obama or Justin Bieber happens to mention that he's been listening to it, so once again we must be grateful to ArchivMusic for restoring these very special performances to the catalogue.
Frederik Prausnitz was a brilliant conductor of modern and contemporary music, and perhaps only Oliver Knussen has equalled him as an interpreter of Carter's music. Despite their age, both of the performances here are still reliable first choices. This rendition of the Double Concerto, especially, is in a class by itself.
Variations for Orchestra; Double Concerto for Harpsichord, Piano and Two Chamber Orchestras; Piano Concerto. Charles Rosen (piano), Paul Jacobs (harpsichord) in the Double Concerto; Jacob Lateiner (piano) in the Piano Concerto. New Philharmonia Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra (in the Variations and Double Concerto, respectively) conducted by Frederik Prausnitz; Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Erich Leinsdorf (in the Piano Concerto). Sony reissued by ArchivMusic, CD or download.
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