Many tributes and reflections on the significance of Carter have been penned already, including this remembrance in the New York Times. So I won’t try to do anything like that, but instead, I will just say that for me personally, Carter’s music serves as a constant reminder that uncompromising complexity has a place in art. It carves out a vast space where modernism is not only still permissible, but relevant. Carter was the last of the true modernists of this country, after Ives and Varèse. What role his aesthetic will play in the future is up to all the composers out there who hear and respond to it, which is to say, all of us.
Nov 07 2012