Commissioned by Radio France, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Aldeburgh festival, Two Controversies and a Conversation, for piano, percussions and orchestra was premiered in June 2012 in front of the composer, few months before his death. The first two "Controversies" are an introduction to the "Conversation." The construction of the piece reminds of a dialogue where both soloists and the orchestra discuss, imitate or contradict each other. Colin Currie, the percussionist who created the piece and Pierre-Laurent Aimard, a pianist dedicated to Elliott Carter pay a tribute to this composer to whom they have been very close throughout their lives.
As the program unfolds, the theme of conversation remains. Stravinsky's Mouvements pour piano et orchestre is an example of the serial music which inspired Carter's first compositions, but from which he departed afterwards. In this piece as well, the notes played by the piano and the orchestra are either complementary or contradictory, in a minimalistic tone.
In the two orchestral compositions which follow, Bartok's Hungary and Janáček's Czech Republic from the 1920s interact with contemporary Russia and the United States. The Dance Suite blends together melodies from the Hungarian, Romanian and Arabic folklore in order to create a grandiloquent rhythmical universe, found again in the Sinfonietta
This concert will be broadcast on France Musique, and webcast live on citedelamusiquelive.tv and medici.tv.
Berliner Philharmoniker - Yuri Bashmet (viola) and Gidon Kremer (violin)
Dennis Russell Davies, André Engel – Elena Tsallagova (The Vixen), Paul Gay (Harašta)