Charles Wuorinen
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Time's Encomium (Nonesuch, 1970) **
Chamber Concerto (Nonesuch H71263, 1971) **
Ringing Changes (Nonesuch, 1971)
Percussion Symphony (Nonesuch, 1978) ***
Works For Violin And Piano (Bridge, 1988) *
The Blue Bamboula; Six Pieces For Violin And Piano (Bridge, 1989)
Third Piano Concerto; The Golden Dance (Nonesuch, 1990)
Third String Quartet; Sonata For Violin And Piano; Fast Fantasy (New World, 1992)
Grand Bamboula; Chamber Concerto For Cello & Ten Players; Ringing Changes; Concerto For Amplified Violin And Orchestra (Music & Arts, 1994)
A Reliquary for Igor Stravinsky (Deutsche Grammophon, 1995)
Genesis; Mass (Koch, 1996)
Third Piano Sonata; Capriccio and Bagatelle (Koch, 1996)
Duo For Violin And Piano; Bassoon Variations; The Winds (New World, 1996)
Two Part Symphony; Piano Concerto; Chamber Concerto for Flute; Chamber Concerto for Tuba (CRI, 1997)
Second String Quartet (Koch, 1997)
Piano Quintet; The Mission of Virgil; Percussion Quartet (Koch, 1998)
Saxophone Quartet (Bis, 1998)
Lepton; Time's Encomium; New York Notes; Epithalamium (Tzadik, 2002)
Concerto For Amplified Cello And Orchestra; Hyperion; Archaeopteryx; Archangel (Koch)
Fortune; Cello Variations II; Violin Variations; Tashi (Koch)
Horn Trio; Piano Trio; Trio For Bass Instruments; Trombone Trio; etc (Koch)
A Winter's Tale; String Sextet; New York Notes (Koch)
Second Piano Sonata (Music & Arts)
Missa Brevis (Music & Arts)
String Trio; Piano Variations; Speculum Speculi; Flute Variations I & II (Music & Arts)
Time's Encomium; Piano Sonata 1; String Quartet 1 (Music & Arts)
Third Piano Concerto; Fourth String Quartet (2004)
Links:

Enfant prodige della musica d'avanguardia degli anni Sessanta (gia' autore di tre sinfonie all'eta' di ventun anni), Charles Wuorinen (1938) e' al tempo stesso un enfant terrible che ha spesso suscitato le ire dell'ambiente accademico.

Quando si laureo', nel 1963 alla Columbia University, pupillo di Luening, aveva gia' alle spalle diversa musica da camera (in particolare Alternating Currents per ensemble da camera del 1957, il Trio Concertante del 1959, il Musica Duarum Partum Ecclesiastica per quintetto di fiati con piano e organo del 1959, il Madrigale Spirituale del 1960, il Concertone per quintetto di ottoni e orchestra del 1960, la Symphonia Sacra per piccola orchestra del 1961, Tiento Sobre Cabeza per settetto del 1961, l'ottetto del 1962 e il concerto da camera per violoncello e piccola orchestra del 1963). Con quel torrente di composizioni Wuorinen si era gia' conquistato la fama di esponente principe del modernismo, erede dello stile tempestoso di Stravinsky, dell'anarchia armonica di Varese e della dodecafonia di Schonberg. Wuorinen e' uno dei pochi serialisti a comporre con estrema facilita'. E fu uno dei primi a cimentarsi con il mezzo elettronico (il Consort From Instruments And Voices del 1961).

Della stagione maggiore sono testimonianza lavori come il Concerto da camera per flauto (1964), il Salve Regina Versus Septem (1966), il primo Concerto per pianoforte (1966), il Trio d'archi (1968), il concerto da camera per tuba (1970), Ringing Changes (1970) per dodici percussioni, la Canzona per dodici strumenti (1971). Il Time's Encomium del 1969 (originariamente per sola elettronica, ma poi riscritto per orchestra), che proseguiva la saga delle suite dadaiste di Subotnick, fu una delle prime opere del suo genere ad ottenere generali consensi. In quel periodo, pero', venne letteralmente espulso dalla Columbia, dove insegnava,

Cio' non gli impedi' di continuare la sua prolifica carriera, scrivendo nel 1972 la trilogia di variazioni (le prime per arpa, le seconde per fagotto e le terze per violino), componendo musica per ensemble sempre piu' elegante (On Alligators nel 1972; Speculum Speculi nel 1972; Arabia Felix nel 1973; Hyperion nel 1976; The Winds nel 1977; Archangel nel 1977; Ancestors nel 1978; Joan's nel 1980) e mettendo in scena la sua prima opera, The Whore Of Babylon (1975), e il suo primo oratorio, Celestial Sphere (1979).

Le sue composizioni orchestrali comprendono, oltre alle tre sinfonie giovanili (1958, 1959, 1959) e ai due concerti per pianoforte (il secondo del 1974), anche un concerto per violino (1972), il Tashi Concerto per quattro strumenti e orchestra (1976) e la sinfonia delle percussioni (1976).

Del suo vasto repertorio fanno parte diversi capolavori, ma la quantita' mostruosa di musica da lui prodotta ha finora impedito una analisi critica di tanta e tale opus.

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A Reliquary for Igor Stravinsky (1975) incorporates Stravinsky's last sketches.

A couple of shorter works, Natural Fantasy (1985) and Bamboula Beach (1984) for orchestra and computer-generated sound, used fractal geometry.

His main chamber compositions include: String Trio (1968), Piano Sonata (1969), Chamber Concerto For Cello And Ten Players (1963), Chamber Concerto For Flute And Ten Players (1964), Chamber Concerto For Oboe And Ten Players (1965), Chamber Concerto For Tuba, 12 Winds and 12 Drums (1970), String Quartet (1971), Tashi (1975) for clarinet, violin, cello and piano, Hyperion (1975) for twelve instruments, Piano Sonata 2 (1976), The Winds (1977) for nine instruments, Wind Quintet (1977), Archaeopteryx (1978) for bass trombone, flutes, horns and marimba, String Quartet 2 (1979), Fortune (1979) for violin, clarinet, cello and piano, New York Notes (1982) for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion and computer-generated sounds, each instrument playing in a different style (gamelan-like percussion, Middle-Eastern melodies, etc), Concertino (1984) for fifteen solo instruments, Piano Sonata 3 (1986), String Trio 3 (1987), Sonata for Violin and Piano (1988), the melodramatic and manically intense String Sextet (1989), A Winter's Tale (1991) for soprano and piano, Saxophone Quartet (1992), Piano Quintet (1994), Percussion Quartet (1994), String Quartet 4 (2000).

Works for chorus and orchestra include: Genesis (1989), Mass (1982) for chamber chorus, three trombones, violin and organ, Missa Renovata (1992).

One of Wuorinen's most complex works was the "Dante Trilogy" for chamber orchestra and percussion that comprises The Mission Of Virgil (1993), The Great Procession (1995) and The River of Light (1996).

Other works for orchestra include: Piano Concerto (1966), Violin Concerto (1972), Piano Concerto 2 (1974), Percussion Symphony (1976), Tashi Concerto (1976) for four solo instruments and orchestra, Two-part Symphony (1978), Piano Concerto 3 (1983), Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra (1983), Movers And Shakers (1984), The Golden Dance (1986), Concerto for Amplified Violin and Orchestra (1972), Concerto for Amplified Piano and Orchestra (1974), Concerto for Amplified Cello and Orchestra (1987), Concerto For Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra (1992) The Great Procession (1995), Symphony Seven (1997), Cyclops (2000).

Wuorinen also composed the oratorio Celestial Sphere (1979), and the operas The Whore Of Babylon (1975) and Haroun and the Sea of Stories (2000).

Haroun and the Sea of Stories and the fourth piano concerto were premiered in 2004.

In 2005 Tsadik released a CD containing: the Third Piano Concerto, Natural Fantasy for organ, On Alligators for 8 players, and the Fourth String Quartet.

Wuorinen's Fourth Piano Concerto premiered in march 2005.

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