Date: May 1999
Creator: Crafton, Elizabeth B.
Description: For the purposes of expressive intent, Carter developed compositional strategies that possess qualities congruent with the musical language in his Second Quartet (1959). He employed strategies including tempo modulation, triple groupings, and large-scale ratios to assemble the musical discourse and to guide the listener's perception of large-scale continuity. I label these devices collectively as "preferential strategies" because it is Carter who selects certain pre-compositional ideas that organize musical material and demarcate structural locations. Tempo modulations that organize dual meters and triple groupings that interact in transitional and transformational ways demonstrate his concern with controlling the overall time continuity through local level organization. Large-scale ratio relations between nine interlocking sections of this four movement work illustrate how Carter employs a local strategy that projects a large-scale structure. Recognizing that Carter's ultimate compositional goal prioritizes temporal processes, these proposed preferred strategies articulate a convergence of musical elements.
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