This is a powerful score, one able to imply the ballet's pictorial events with appropriate musical colors and rhythmic variety. It also offers the unconverted audience a clearer look into Mr. Carter's muscular and energized world. The restless changes of timbre, movement and mood are recognizable, but in The Minotaur they can be seen in a slightly defoliated setting, free of the near-impenetrable underbrush of crossing, meshing and conflicting motifs in his later music, textures that defeat so many contemporary ears.
The Minotaur, which will be recorded by Nonesuch after this weekend's two performances, is the kind of early Carter all of us should explore. Friends will rejoice in the powers of his youth. The skeptical, in turn, will be inspired to investigate Mr. Carter's later repertory with renewed courage.