Elliott Carter (1908-2012)

More's Utopia (2004)

for orchestra

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2004
    • Duration: 3 mn
    • Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
    • Cycle: Three Illusions
Detailed formation
  • flute, 2 piccolos, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, contrabass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, 3 percussionists, piano, strings

Premiere information

  • Date: 6 October 2005

    États-Unis, Boston


    le Boston Symphony, direction : James Levine.


Program note

Thomas More invented the word Utopia ( Ou Topos – no place ), the name for his imagined completely happy society with no central government, which followed draconian laws that governed almost all human activities. For example: every able bodied person had to spend 2 years living and working on a farm, and was allowed to occupy the same house for only a period of 10 years before being forced to move.

Sir Thomas More, a devout Catholic, who was Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII and opposed the King’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, was beheaded.

Elliott Carter.