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Wuorinen: Bassoon Variations, Duo, The Winds / Parnassus


Release Date: 11/19/1996 
Label:  New World Records   Catalog #: 80517   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Charles Wuorinen
Performer:  Charles WuorinenPaul ZukofskyGordon GottliebSusan Jolles,   ... 
Conductor:  Anthony Korf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parnassus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

If, among American composers, you find Babbitt or Carter too arid and Corigliano or Harbison too soft-centred, try Charles Wuorinen. The Winds (1977) shows him at his best: exuberant and undogmatic, with the kind of strong melodic flow and unmistakable sense of harmonic integrity that reminds me of ‘mainstream’ British composers like Oliver Knussen and Colin Matthews. The notes don’t say if the work’s source is the poem by Saint-John Perse that also inspired Carter’s Concerto for Orchestra, but Wuorinen’s relish for the varied sonorities available from his 19-strong ensemble and his characteristically uninhibited inventiveness make this as attractive and personal a work of his as I’ve encountered.

The Duo for violin and piano
Read more is earlier, with echoes of that angry-young-Boulez type of post-war avant-gardism alongside early sightings of Wuorinen’s own more playful East Coast persona. The Variations for the weird and not especially wonderful combination of bassoon, harp and timpani become rather diffuse once the novelty of the actual sound has worn off, but even here there’s enough creative energy at work to keep the listener involved. The recordings lack digital spaciousness, and the transfer level of The Winds is particularly high. Full price for little more than 40 minutes’ worth of reissues is hardly a bargain, but this is an enjoyable and enterprising release.'

-- Arnold Whittall, Gramophone [11/1997]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Duo for Violin and Piano by Charles Wuorinen
Performer:  Charles Wuorinen (Piano), Paul Zukofsky (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966-1967; USA 
2.
Variations for Bassoon by Charles Wuorinen
Performer:  Gordon Gottlieb (Timpani), Susan Jolles (Harp), Donald MacCourt (Bassoon)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966-1967; USA 
Length: 11 Minutes 55 Secs. 
3.
The Winds by Charles Wuorinen
Performer:  Gordon Gottlieb (Percussion), Susan Jolles (Bassoon), Donald MacCourt (Bassoon),
Paul Zukofsky (Violin), Charles Wuorinen (Piano)
Conductor:  Anthony Korf
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parnassus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977; USA 

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