Wow. So, I am all for celebrating important figures in music–even those whose music I don’t particularly care for–but THIS just seems so far over the top I can barely stand it!
I mean, yes, Eliot Carter is 100 years old. And yes, that’s something special. And yes, he is an important composer, many would argue. But really? 10 concerts in 4 days? Really?! That seems like the kind of thing that almost no human being on earth could tolerate; even the composer himself!
Now, I am not trying to be all down on Carter’s music. It is true, that his thing is not my thing, but that’s not the point. Carter is clearly a bad-ass, and he is fully deserving of a centennial celebration. Really, the issue here is with the programming. This is a lot of music by one person to hear in so short a time.
I always look forward to seeing what’s on the docket for the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music each summer. Mostly, I find that it’s not quite my thing–it often leaning toward the Carter end of the spectrum–but I still like finding out about composers I hadn’t known before, and occasionally hearing something really fantastic. (And when I was a fellow there I heard performances that changed my life, for sure!) But this is really disappointing to me in that regard. It’s just so monochromatic, in a way. (No pun intended.)
Oh well, good thing there is some diversity going on elsewhere in the region around the same time. I’ll be there, you can be sure, and not long after will be playing a special summer show with Newspeak here. So if you aren’t in the mood for ten million hours of Mr. Carter’s music, you should come to one or both of those. At least there is still a reason to get out of the city and hit the Berkshires!
Whew! I was afraid my seersucker would have to go unworn this summer!