Elliott Carter (1908-2012)

Réflexions (2004)

pour ensemble

  • General information
    • Composition date : 2004
    • Duration : 10 mn
    • Editor : Boosey & Hawkes
Detailed formation
  • 2 flûtes (aussi 2 flûtes piccolos, 1 flûte alto), hautbois, cor anglais, 2 clarinettes (aussi 1 clarinette en mib, 1 clarinette basse, 1 clarinette contrebasse), 2 bassons (aussi 1 contrebasson), 2 cors, 2 trompettes, 2 trombones, 3 percussionnistes, harpe, piano, 2 violons, violon II, 2 altos, 2 violoncelles, contrebasse

Creation information

  • Date : 15 February 2005
    Location :

    France, Paris


    Performers :

    l'Ensemble intercontemporain, direction : Pierre Boulez.

Program note

Conceived as an eightieth-birthday present for the composer’s longstanding friend and supporter Pierre Boulez this colorful and often humorous piece is a swirl of reflections on six notes that spell out the dedicatee’s surname. The score is also a homage to the Ensemble InterContemporain, which was to give the first performance (as also of the composer’s Penthode and his concertos for oboe and clarinet). Accordingly, the music is a sparkling sequence of virtuoso solos and duets, including a comic turn for contrabass clarinet in the extreme low register, bright discourses for flutes and trumpets, and a cello thrust in which, Carter has observed, “the cello plays a wrong note, B natural, which the orchestra doesn’t like, so then it plays the right note, which is B flat.”

Paul Griffiths.