A tribute to American music! This disc presents an opportunity to sample some of the most up-to-date American music, with two masterpieces in the concertante genre: the clarinet concertos of Elliott Carter and John Corigliano. Presented here by leading interpreters of this music, these two pieces are emblematic of the rich stylistic diversity of the American continent. John Corigliano’s Clarinet Concerto of 1977 showcases the soloist’s virtuosity. It is a highly sensitive work in which the clarinetist plays the role of a valiant hero weathering the storm: the tumultuous, tempestuous material of the orchestra. The purely melancholy power of the music sometimes recalls the most moving moments of his Violin Concerto, which served as material for François Girard’s film The Red Violin (Oscar® winner for Best Film Score, 1999).
A different style and a different way of introducing the narrative is found in Elliott Carter’s Clarinet Concerto, composed 20 years later in 1997. This piece gives the impression of a veritable musical dramaturgy, in which each instrument is treated individually. The composer also treats the concerto itself in a new way, since he sets up an alternating dialogue between the soloist and each of the instrumental groups, which are independent of each other and laid out in a semicircle. The style of the work is characterized by both virtuosity and precision in the articulations and the accents. Elliott Carter, whose 104th birthday is celebrated this year, is unquestionably one of the most inventive composers of his time.