Lincoln Center, NYC
January 28, 2009
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
This is the first live recording of Carter's magnificent Night Fantasies that I've come across so far. As one of the co-commissioners of the piece (the others being Ursula Oppens, Charles Rosen, and the late - and sorely missed - Paul Jacobs) Gilbert Kalish must have played this music for quite some time. His Night Fantasies unfold at a much quicker pace and, as a result, are not nearly as dark hued as what I hear in Paul Jacobs' well-known studio recording (Nonesuch). But the thrill of hearing this piece played live by one of the outstanding interpreters of 20th century piano music really makes comparisons with studio recordings irrelevant.
Because almost at the same time I also came across my first live recording of Carter's Au Quai - wonderfully played by members of London Sinfonietta - I thought that it would be well to add this charming short piece to Kalish's recording.