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Charles Wuorinen (b.1938): Metagong; Trio for flute, bass clarinet & piano; Violin Sonata / James Baker, piano; Jayn Rosenfeld, flute; Jean Kopperud, bass clarinet

Album Summary

>Wuorinen, Charles : Metagong, for 2 pianos & 2 percussionists
>Wuorinen, Charles : Trio for flute, bass clarinet & piano
>Wuorinen, Charles : Sonata for violin & piano
>Wuorinen, Charles : Janissary Music for percussion
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Albany Records continues its series devoted to the music of Pulitzer Prize winning composer Charles Wuorinen with this disc, which includes the world premiere recordings of two major chamber works from 2008, as well as new recordings of two Wuorinen classics. The music is performed by several of the finest Wuorinen specialsts: the New York New Music Ensemble; violinist Mark Steinberg; pianist Alan Feinberg; and percussionist George Nickson. In the notes, Frank J. Oteri writes that "At this point in his career, his [Wuorinen's] chamber music output must now be one of the most extensive ever created by an American composer." The four works are performed in descending order of the number of musicians involved: quartet, trio, duo and solo percussion, although the final work is every bit as multilayered as the earlier works, giving the impression of a work for chamber ensemble.

American Record Guide, November/December 2014
Charles Wuorinen's record is titled for a relatively recent work for "pianos and metals", called Metagong (2008). I find the pace of the work and the sonic materials very well balanced, making for stimulating listening through all three movements. A sense of form is always present in Wuorinen's music. He has maintained that the meaning of the term "serialism" is open to question. The quality of sound and timbre are essential to his work. In works for percussion, numerous instruments can be called on to supply orchestrational variety; in pieces like his violin sonata (1988), more of a reliance on melody is necessary. This collection of two recent and two older works by the Pulitzer Prize winner is a helpful supplement for collectors of music by composers affiliated with Bell Labs - the most famous example being Milton Babbitt.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: American Academy of Arts & Letters, New York.



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Works Details

>Wuorinen, Charles : Metagong, for 2 pianos & 2 percussionists
  • Performers: James Baker (Percussion); Steven Beck (Piano); Daniel Druckman (Percussion); Stephen Gosling (Piano)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 2008

>Wuorinen, Charles : Trio for flute, bass clarinet & piano
  • Performers: Stephen Gosling (Piano); Jean Kopperud (Clarinet); Jayn Rosenfeld (Flute)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 2008

>Wuorinen, Charles : Sonata for violin & piano
  • Performers: Alan Feinberg (Piano); Mark Steinberg (Violin)
  • Running Time: 21 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Wuorinen, Charles : Janissary Music for percussion
  • Performer: George Nickson (Percussion)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary