Elliott Carter (1908-2012)

Oboe Quartet (2001)

for oboe and string trio

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2001
    • Duration: 17 mn
    • Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Detailed formation
  • oboe, violin, viola, cello

Premiere information

  • Date: 2 September 2001

    Suisse, Lucerne, Matthaeuskirche


    Heinz Holliger : hautbois, Thomas Zehetmair : violon, Ruth Killius : alto, Thomas Demenga : violoncelle.

Program note

The Oboe Quartet is built up from a series of six duets, which cover every possible combination of the four instruments. Each duet lasts just a minute or two, and the other two instruments provide an accompaniment. When I wrote the Oboe Concerto for Heinz Holliger, he showed me the amazing things he could do, such as multiphonics and glissandi, and I incorporated them into the concerto. But this new piece doesn’t have any of those sounds in it. My works now are not really experimental in terms of special effects, but rather in the way the music is organized.

Elliott Carter.