1(=picc,afl).1(=corA).1(=Eb).bcl(=dbcl).1-18.104.22.168-perc(3):marimba/3tpl.bl/2wdbl/lg SD/sm susp.cym/wood dr/gavel;vib/crot/sm.tgl/guiro/3susp.cym/military dr/gong/tam-t;claves/whip/4bongos/sm.snare dr/3tom-t/BD/cowbell-pft-harp-22.214.171.124.1
Written for Pierre Boulez’s Ensemble InterContemporain, Penthode is a twenty-minute slow movement of inexorable continuity. The weight is that of a work for full orchestra, the power geological, evoking the slow glide — with occasional volcanic slips — of tectonic plates. At the same time, this is music bursting with brilliance and dash, for the solid adagio represents only one of the work’s strata, alongside others that include a supple melodic line passing from instrument to instrument all through the piece, as well as flurries and controversies from constantly varying groupings. These features make it the first of Carter’s ‘multi-concertos’, where musical energy fizzes through diverse solos and ensembles.
- Programme note by Paul Griffiths
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the author.