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Charles Wuorinen: String Sextet; Piano Quintet; Divertimento
     

Charles Wuorinen: String Sextet; Piano Quintet; Divertimento

by Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
 
In the note on the back of this CD, the musical career of Charles Wuorinen is compared to those of Beethoven and Brahms, but the justification for this curious idea may not be apparent to most listeners, since the music of these composers is quite dissimilar. Even though Wuorinen's models are familiar forms --

Overview

In the note on the back of this CD, the musical career of Charles Wuorinen is compared to those of Beethoven and Brahms, but the justification for this curious idea may not be apparent to most listeners, since the music of these composers is quite dissimilar. Even though Wuorinen's models are familiar forms -- divertimento, string quartet, piano quintet, string sextet -- and his choice of instruments is conventional, his music nevertheless is modernist and uncompromising in its angular lines, dissonant chords, asymmetrical phrases, sharp contours, and continually changing rhythms. Apart from any biographical similarities, comparisons with Beethoven and Brahms may be more relevant if one considers that Wuorinen's approach to his art is intellectual and solidly grounded in tradition, and that his expression is classically poised and lucid, rather than frenetically avant-garde or chaotic. Though the luscious sonorities of the "Sextet" may hint at triadic harmonies, and tonal suggestions may appear in the midst of seemingly atonal counterpoint in the "Second String Quartet," Wuorinen does not retreat from his own rigorously developed language; and though some devices and mannerisms of the "Divertimento" and the "Piano Quintet" are occasionally reminiscent of Classical or Romantic antecedents, no one would mistake the assertively modern music in these pieces as old-fashioned imitations or reactionary pastiches. These recordings by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the string quartet Tashi, and the Group for Contemporary Music were originally made in the 1990s for Koch International, and all have exceptional sound, so Naxos has reissued them without remastering.

Editorial Reviews

Dallas Morning News - Scott Cantrell
[Grade: B+] This is nothing if not intellectually engaging music. Music calling for great virtuosity, it's admirably played here by three different ensembles, and superbly recorded.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/26/2006
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0636943928820
catalogNumber:
8559288

Tracks

  1. Sextet for Strings  - Charles Wuorinen  -  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center  - Howard Stokar
  2. String Quartet No 2  - Charles Wuorinen  - Joshua Gordon  -  Columbia University Group for Contemporary Music  - Benjamin Hudson  - Lois Martin  - Howard Stokar  - Carol Zeavin
  3. Divertimento  - Charles Wuorinen  - Howard Stokar  -  Tashi
  4. Piano quintet  - Charles Wuorinen  -  Columbia University Group for Contemporary Music  - Curtis Macomber  - Ursula Oppens  - Fred Sherry  - Scott St. John  - Howard Stokar  - Carmit Zori

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