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Thread: RIP Charles Wuorinen

  1. #1
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    RIP Charles Wuorinen

    RIP modern classical composer Charles Wuorinen. Xenaxis or Babbit fans might be interested in his work. He never gained much traction it seems but as a very young man he was able to write complex orchestral arrangements and always followed his own muse. He won a Pulitzer Prize 50 years ago and was very prolific. Iíve only scratched the surface but this seems to me difficult and often dissonant music influenced by the 12-tone approach of Schoenberg.

    Anyone know his work and have any thoughts or recommendations?

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    He was really my first introduction to a living classical composer. The college where I got my B.M. was where his oratorio The Celestial Sphere and the associated orchestral suite were premiered in 1980. That was three years before i got there, but the faculty member who was responsible for the connection was my theory professor, and Wuorinen came to visit campus at least once while I was there. We studied some of his music in class; it was dense, but still accessible, and I remember him as being very personable. I should revisit his work.
    David
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    Iím not familiar with his works. Sorry to hear of his passing. I will check out his music to see if itís for me or not. Many modern day composers arenít for me but there are some that designate with me.


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    RIP I've been aware of Wuorinen for many years but I've listened to just a few pieces including his electronic work, Time's Encomium.


  5. #5
    I bought this half a century ago and still have it. Nonesuch records, natch.
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  6. #6
    One of my favorite composers.

    His passing will go largely unnoticed, even by classical music fans. But to me, he was a giant.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  7. #7
    A brilliant composer for sure. My favourite piece of his, interestingly, is his Reliquary for Igor Stravinsky - built from uncompleted Stravinsky sketches. Simply gorgeous. Very much Igor (and quite reverential) while also being wholly Wuorinen. Highly recommended.
    And the code is a play, a play is a song, a song is a film, a film is a dance...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Polypet View Post
    A brilliant composer for sure. My favourite piece of his, interestingly, is his Reliquary for Igor Stravinsky - built from uncompleted Stravinsky sketches. Simply gorgeous. Very much Igor (and quite reverential) while also being wholly Wuorinen. Highly recommended.
    I just listened to that piece the other day. It sounded very good! Also his horn trio is a great piece. It's on a Naxos CD. I'd also recommend his piano quintet available on a Koch CD in addition to his percussion quartet and two other pieces.

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    Thanks for the recommendations gentlemen

  10. #10
    His piano concertos stand out for me, but there are so many great pieces.

    This is the 4th.

    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

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    Will give that a listen, Simon. The 3rd piano concerto is uploaded in the classical thread.

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    I read his book, ďSimple CompositionĒ in college. This lead me to discovering and enjoying his music.

    https://www.boosey.com/shop/prod/Wuo...osition/716249

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    Wow! I was just thinking of him the other day. When I was starving for any electronic music in the early 70s I came across Times Encomium. I was befuddled and entralled. It wasn't Tangerine Dream. The fact that anyone got something out of that RCA Mark II Synthesizer is amazing. I still have the original vinyl.

  14. #14
    Sorry to read it. His nephew was my high school math teacher.

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