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Charles Wuorinen - Music Of Two Decades Vol 2

Release Date: 02/01/1994 
Label:  Music & Arts Programs Of America Catalog #: 801   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Charles Wuorinen
Performer:  Curtis MacomberMark O ShumanLinda QuanJoanna Jenner,   ... 
Conductor:  Daniel SchulmanCharles WuorinenJames Dixon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Light Fantastic PlayersGroup for Contemporary MusicNew Jersey Percussion Ensemble,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Wuorinen's output is so prodigious, and he has been performed and recorded so frequently, that it comes as a surprise to read in the Music & Arts notes that his output numbers “only“ about 200 compositions. Even more surprising is his lingering (and undeserved) reputation as a rigid serialist from beyond the fringe. Prior to 1960 his music was rooted in tonality and influenced primarily by Stravinsky. In 1961 canonic and retrograde structures began appearing, and in 1962 he adopted a more systematic and rigid serialism reminiscent of Babbitt. Until 1968 he used the twelve-tone time-point system; many of these works exhibit complexity similar to Carter and Wolpe. In 1968 his style changed to a fragment system, “based on,“ to quote Harvey Read more Sollberger, “systematic but contextually conditioned mutation of source musical fragments.“ Fourteen of the sixteen works on these three CDs date from between 1968 and 1979, a period in which Wuorinen's music grew more relaxed and more lyrical. “... Repetition and registrai duplication of pitches play larger roles,“ writes Richard Swift in Grove's. He adds that “Long passages of relative rhythmic or pitch immobility are contrasted with bursts of active aggregates of pitch and rhythm; sometimes both are combined.“

...[These recordings] are drawn primarily from Nonesuch originals recorded in 1971 and 1974. In addition to restoring some major Wuorinen back into circulation, they serve as reminders of what a wonderfully imaginative label Nonesuch was under the administration of the visionary Teresa Sterne...

Along with the Glogauer Liederbuch, Grand Bamboula (1971) is one of Wuorinen's most immediately likeable pieces. Fast, dynamic, and extroverted, it resonates with echoes of Bartok and Stravinsky as well as giving a little foretaste of Adams. The Chamber Concerto for Cello and 10 Players (1963) is in five short movements, each of which sees the soloist assume a different role. Though sounding discontinuous and interrupted on the surface, it is underpinned by a foundation of continuous canons. It is also unusually fast for a serial work. Ringing Changes (1969-70), for a nine-player percussion ensemble, resembles Varèse's Ionisation as filtered through elements of world music. “A storm of protest and cheers greeted the work at its premiere creating a violent reaction from the players of the Boston Symphony Orchestra,“ writes Howard Stokar about the 1971-72 Concerto for Amplified Violin and Orchestra. Raucous, occasionally violent, punchy at times, and full of contradictions, the whole work is surprisingly bright overall. While its dense, complex rhythms recall Carter, many of its fragments are reminiscent at times of both the Berg and Stravinsky concertos. Amplification allows the violin to ride out over the orchestra, but is otherwise discreet, adding only some wavery, shimmering qualities. The original University of Iowa LP must have had very limited availability... Howard Stokar's notes...draw heavily on Wuorinen's writings and are excellent.

-- Benjamin Patrick [7/1994]

All selections, except the "Concerto for Amplified Violin" were originally issued on LP by Nonesuch recordings (1971 & 1974). Read less

Works on This Recording

Grand Bamboula by Charles Wuorinen
Performer:  Curtis Macomber (Violin), Mark O Shuman (Cello), Linda Quan (Violin),
Joanna Jenner (Violin), Lois Martin (Viola), Christine Shepherd (Viola),
Jake Kella (Viola), Sin-tung Chiu (Violin), Sander Strenger (Violin),
Nancy Elan (Violin), Daniel Reed (Violin), Susan Lang (Violin),
Rolf Schulte (Violin), Kathy Seplow (Violin), Joel Lester (Violin),
Michael Willens (Double Bass), Andrée Brière (Double Bass), Lisa Lancaster (Cello),
Helen Harbison (Cello), Chris Finckel (Cello), Judson Griffin (Viola)
Conductor:  Daniel Schulman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Light Fantastic Players
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971; USA 
Length: 5 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Chamber Concerto for Cello and 10 Instruments by Charles Wuorinen
Performer:  Alvin Brehm (Double Bass), Robert Miller (Piano), Raymond DesRoches (Percussion),
Josef Marx (English Horn), Josef Marx (Oboe), Harvey Sollberger (Flute),
Fred Sherry (Cello), Jack Kreiselmann (Clarinet), Jack Kreiselmann (Bass Clarinet),
Donald MacCourt (Bassoon), Jeanne Ingraham (Violin), Claire Heldrich (Percussion),
John Graham (Viola), Richard Fitz (Percussion)
Conductor:  Charles Wuorinen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Group for Contemporary Music
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; USA 
Length: 18 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Ringing Changes by Charles Wuorinen
Performer:  Donald McBride (Piano), Ken Hosley (Drums), Joseph Passaro (Vibraphone),
Donald Mari (Drums), Matthew Patuto (Percussion), Doreen Holmes (Almglocken),
Dean Poulsen (Piano), Vincent Potuto Jr. (Tamtam), James Pugliese (String Drum),
James Pugliese (Chimes), Louis Oddo (Vibraphone), Marty Martini (Vibraphone),
Joseph Passaro (Timpani), Michael Moscariello (Cymbals)
Conductor:  Charles Wuorinen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Jersey Percussion Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971; USA 
Length: 17 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Concerto for amplified Violin by Charles Wuorinen
Performer:  Paul Zukofsky (Violin)
Conductor:  James Dixon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Iowa Symphony
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1972; USA 
Date of Recording: 1983 
Length: 21 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Notes: This selection was originally issued on LP by the Univeristy of Iowa Press. 

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