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Charles Wuorinen: Six Trios

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
There is a note on the back of this CD of Charles Wuorinen's Six Trios that may be misleading, so it warrants a caveat at the outset: it states, ."..his musical career has more in common with Brahms and Beethoven than with any contemporary model," but this is not to say that his music sounds even remotely like them or any of his predecessors. To the contrary, this leading figure of the avant-garde in the 1960s and '70s and celebrated composer of the electronic classic Time's Encomium 1968-1969, has neither yielded to the neo-Romantic ricorso nor adopted any of its Epimethean methods. If this collection of trios for various instrumental combinations indicates anything, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
There is a note on the back of this CD of Charles Wuorinen's Six Trios that may be misleading, so it warrants a caveat at the outset: it states, ."..his musical career has more in common with Brahms and Beethoven than with any contemporary model," but this is not to say that his music sounds even remotely like them or any of his predecessors. To the contrary, this leading figure of the avant-garde in the 1960s and '70s and celebrated composer of the electronic classic Time's Encomium 1968-1969, has neither yielded to the neo-Romantic ricorso nor adopted any of its Epimethean methods. If this collection of trios for various instrumental combinations indicates anything, it shows that Wuorinen's modernist credentials are still valid, his musical principles are uncompromised, and his intellect is undiminished. Yet there is a case to be made for Wuorinen's accessibility, a rare enough quality among composers of serial music but one that has made his works appealing in spite of their complex theoretical underpinnings. By the mid-'80s, Wuorinen had polished his musical rhetoric, clarified his procedures, and honed his skills in writing chamber music, so any rough edges from his early experimental period were rubbed smooth, and his mature music became more concise and intelligible. To some extent, this economy of techniques and expressions makes his music seem classically organized, tighter, and all of a piece, so even lay listeners can perceive the formal consistency of the musical arguments and understand where they lead; indeed, the six works on this disc are all fairly short in length, and easy to follow in their compact structures and direct activity. Add to these Wuorinen's unerring sense of timbre, spontaneity in the repartee, and brilliant textural invention, and it becomes clear that this music is approachable and enjoyable simply because it is well crafted and coherent, not because of dubious borrowings from past masters or outright pastiches. Wuorinen and his splendid Group for Contemporary Music turned in authoritative performances in these 1991 recordings, which were originally made for Koch International, but are presented on this 2006 Naxos reissue in a fresh remastering that sounds terrific.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/21/2006
  • Label: Naxos American
  • UPC: 636943926420
  • Catalog Number: 8559264
  • Sales rank: 180,728

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Trio for Bass Instruments - David Braynard & Charles Wuorinen (8:47)
  2. 2 Horn Trio, for violin, horn & piano - Alan Feinberg & Charles Wuorinen (11:38)
  3. 3 Horn Trio Continued, for violin, horn & piano - Alan Feinberg & Charles Wuorinen (10:21)
  4. 4 Trio for violin, cello & piano - Charles Wuorinen & Charles Wuorinen (10:15)
  5. 5 Double Solo for Horn Trio - Charles Wuorinen & Columbia University Group for Contemporary Music (15:15)
  6. 6 Trombone Trio - Charles Wuorinen & Ronald Borror (8:35)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Group for Contemporary Music Primary Artist
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