René Mense




A Tribute to Elliott Carter (2008)
for piano, 6'20"

Sheet Music Sample (PDF)

Live recording from 11. Dec. 2008, Berlin, Hanns Eisler-Hochschule  (YouTube)

  A Tribute to Elliott Carter was written in July and August 2008. Here, I revisited a central aspect of Elliot Carter’s thinking about music and time, namely, the continuum. The approximately six minute piece consists of nine short sections that merge into one another seamlessly, all connected by means of the metrical modulation introduced by Carter. In this way, the basic tempo of quarter note equals 100 is steadily slowed by 10 points on the metronome until the music arrives at quarter note equals 20. The rhythmically and melodically clearly accentuated figures of one section thus change almost imperceptibly into completely different ones in the following section. Also on the level of chords and sequences of sounds, a continuous transformation of musical figures takes place with many overlaps.

  The fact that the music retreats gradually from tempo 100 virtually in tens is, for me, a humorous reference to the eight decades of musical life which, as personified in Elliot Carter, are a remarkable reality.

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