Frank Scheffer's "A Labyrinth of Time" a study of world-renowned Americna composer Elliott Carter, fascinates as it illuminates.
Elliott Carter: A Labyrinth of Time
In A Labyrinth of Time, Elliott Carter (1908- 2012), a composer and symbol, one of the longest living artists of the twentieth century, is shown as a vigorous ninety-year-old who has just written his first opera suggestively called What Next? Director Frank Schaeffer, who has previously worked on films about Cage, Stockhausen, Andriessen, Boulez and Zappa, seems to have an eye (and ear) for contemporary music. This is obvious in his numerous shots of New York shown at a variety of paces and in different layers intriguingly aligned with Carter’s pieces and reflections on time and polyphony. The master of modernism talks about his teacher Nadia Boulanger, his own masters, including Ives, Varèse and Stravinsky, and about his experience of the present and the past. The scenes are enhanced with wonderful music, especially the Cello Sonata, String Quartet No. 1 and the Piano Concerto. A masterly documentary.
Movie director : Frank Scheffer
Starring: Elliott Carter, Daniel Barenboim, Charles Rosen
Collection : Juxtapositions
Playlist : Musics from the Americas
Musical period : Contemporary music
Production; Netherlands, 2004
Illustrious figures, including the pianist and scholar Charles Rosen and the formidable Pierre Boulez, offer eloquent attestation to the statue of Carter among today's composers.
LA Weekly, July 4th, 2007
It seems to me that Elliott Carter has a very striking role, absolutely fundamental in the second half of the 20th century, one in fact which explains why his music becomes important a little bit later in his life than with other composers. He is the only composer who actually synthesizes the two great traditions of the earlier part of the 20th century.