Elliott Carter (1908-2012)

Symphonia: Sum Fluxae Pretiam Spei (1993 -1997)

for orchestra

  • General information
    • Composition date: 1993 - 1997
    • Duration: 45 mn
    • Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Detailed formation
  • 3 flutes (also 2 piccolos), 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets (also 1 Eb clarinet), bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, 4 percussionists, harp, piano, strings

Premiere information

  • Date: 25 April 1998

    Royaume-Uni, Manchester, création intégrale


    l'Orchestre symphonique de la BBC, direction : Oliver Knussen.


  • enregistrement : BBC Symphony Orchestra, Oliver Knussen, cd 20/21 4596602 ;
  • voir aussi les pièces séparément.

Table of contents

Program note

A symphony beyond symphonies, this was an astoundingly and hearteningly massive achievement for a composer in his mid-eighties. The invention is consistently alert, the execution masterful and the development typically nimble. Thinking of a Latin poem by the seventeenth-century English poet Richard Crashaw, Carter adopts the viewpoint of a bubble floating above human affairs, observing, in the three movements, the games people play, the tragedies they endure, and the life that goes on fizzing through them. These movements may be performed separately and were separately commissioned, Partita by the Chicago Symphony, Adagio tenebroso by the BBC and Allegro scorrevole by the Cleveland Orchestra. But it is when they are played together that the full breadth of this extraordinary work stands revealed.

Paul Griffiths.