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Ives: Symphony No 2; Carter: Instances; Gershwin: An American in Paris Seattle SO/Morlot SEATTLE SYMPHONY 24/40

August 15, 2014

Andrew Clements

This varied collection of Americana is taken from concerts given by the Seattle Symphony orchestra under its music director Ludovic Morlot since 2011. The novelty here is Elliott Carter's Instances, which was recorded at its premiere last year, eight months after the composer's death. It was his last orchestral work, and is typical late Carter - an eight-minute kaleidoscope of contrasting episodes effortlessly whisked together in a spare, teasing way. Morlot's account is as deft as required, just as his treatment of Ives's Second Symphony, in which Brahms gets a New England makeover, is warmly affectionate. But it's all just a bit too safe; in the Ives and in Gershwin's symphonic poem a few more risks and a touch more orchestral glitz might have lifted the performances from routinely efficient to something more memorable.

Reviews by Andrew Clements

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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