Concert Review: Carter’s Flute Concerto gets first American performance

Posted on: February 5, 2010

In Friday’s (2/5) Boston Globe, Jeremy Eichler writes, “Elliott Carter’s remarkable Indian summer lives on. Last night in Symphony Hall, soloist Elizabeth Rowe and the BSO under James Levine’s baton delivered a triumphant first American performance of Carter’s Flute Concerto, completed in early 2008, when the composer was 99 years old. Carter had had many requests for flute concertos over the years, but he has always demurred, as he wrote in a program note, ‘because the flute could not produce the sharp attacks that I use so frequently.’ … He also obviously changed his mind about the flute, and has now upended expectations once again, writing a rigorous yet in its way ravishing concerto that seems to have been inspired by, of all things, the flute’s lyrical possibilities. … The work’s heart, its central section, is dominated by a striking ruminative songfulness. … Rowe, the BSO’s principal flute, did marvelous work last night with the solo part, darting through the dense passages with poise and remarkable agility but also taking full advantage of the work’s lyrical opportunities with grace and tonal warmth.”

Posted February 5, 2010