Author Topic: Wuorinen's Whirlygig  (Read 26096 times)

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karlhenning

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #40 on: April 29, 2009, 11:18:27 AM »
Whores and martinis.....I dig on the GMG.

Allan

karlhenning

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2009, 03:41:08 AM »
Quote from: k a rl h e nn i ng
I need to revisit the First Quartet!

And here we are, today.  I do like this!

karlhenning

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #42 on: May 01, 2009, 04:20:23 AM »
This is quite possibly the first time I've listened to the first quartet, though I've owned this disc for perhaps a decade (the disc is the Music & Arts compilation Charles Wuorinen: Music of Decades Vol. III, of which the first track is Time's Encomium . . . what I imagine happened is, I listened to the electronic piece, stopped the disc to digest, went on to listen to something else as a 'palate-cleanser' . . . and I just happened not to have gone back).

Anyway . . . fun piece. The first movement begins with a short gesture which repeats, and repeats . . . he wrote this in 1971, and what I can imagine is, in those days of the first big wave of publicity of the New York minimalists — Steve Reich's Four Organs and Phase Patterns date from 1970, Drumming from 1970-71, and Four Organs was premiered at the Guggenheim in May of 1970 — anyway, I wonder if the opening of the first movement is his own creative response to what was 'in the air'. The second movement opens with an oscillating minor tenth, which in the event does not repeat so much as the gesture opening the first movement. At the start of the third, the cello seizes the stage with a sort of Nicht diese töne recitative. And the last two minutes of the piece are dominated by a motoric repeated-note loop of the sort which (anachronistically) recalls Reich's The Desert Music (of 1984, but other pieces of Reich's, too, no doubt).

Just one angle of the quartet, to be sure; another piece I shall need to revisit a few times.

karlhenning

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #43 on: June 19, 2009, 06:11:16 AM »
And here.

Offline Catison

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #44 on: June 19, 2009, 06:28:41 AM »
And here.

Heh.  I had trouble finding where to put that post, considering it was about Stravinsky, Wuorinen, and Henning.  So I chose Henning.

In other news, I am listening to The Golden Dance.  First time Friday!
-Brett

karlhenning

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #45 on: June 19, 2009, 06:41:37 AM »
Heh.  I had trouble finding where to put that post, considering it was about Stravinsky, Wuorinen, and Henning.  So I chose Henning.

And warmly appreciated, thanks!

Quote from: C Forever
In other news, I am listening to The Golden Dance.  First time Friday!

That was originally issued on the same CD as the Third Concerto.  Beautiful!

greg

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #46 on: June 21, 2009, 04:46:25 AM »
This is quite possibly the first time I've listened to the first quartet, though I've owned this disc for perhaps a decade (the disc is the Music & Arts compilation Charles Wuorinen: Music of Decades Vol. III, of which the first track is Time's Encomium . . . what I imagine happened is, I listened to the electronic piece, stopped the disc to digest, went on to listen to something else as a 'palate-cleanser' . . . and I just happened not to have gone back).

Did you listen to this with headphones on?  8)

karlhenning

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #47 on: June 21, 2009, 04:54:52 AM »
At times.

greg

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #48 on: June 22, 2009, 04:27:11 AM »
That's the way to go. I loved hearing the sound travel back and forth from the left side to the right- very different, trippy musical experience.

Offline donaldopato

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #49 on: June 22, 2009, 06:19:12 AM »
Our local orchestra did his "Flying to Kahani" Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with Peter Serkin as solo. Here is my impression from my "review" on my blog:

Years ago, while an undergraduate, I managed to infiltrate a seminar taught by the gregarious and prolific Mr. Wuorinen. Fluent in every form from electronic music (his passion when I met him in 1977, he had won a Pulitzer for his electronic composition Time's Encomium) to symphonies (8 or so by now) and chamber music (his Sextet and String Quartet # 2 are wonderful), Wuorinen was a riveting speaker and quite approachable. I remember him telling the assembled students (among them graduate vocal student Jerry Hadley {RIP}), to explore and use the new media of electronics and to not be afraid of new sounds and forms. Thus, I was so prepared to enjoy Flying to Kahani, a piece written for Serkin and based on a story by Salman Rushdie.

Composed in 2005 for Peter Serkin, "Kahani" is the undiscovered second moon of Earth in Rushdie's novel "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" which Wuorinen set as an opera. In the opera Haroun and a companion fly a mechanical bird to fly to this hidden moon. As they approach their destination they discover a vast sea called Kahani, the "Ocean of the Streams of Story", from which all stories come.

A poetic program for a sadly dreary, dry and mechanical serialist work, in the most academic manner imaginable. Wide leaps from the piano, accompanied by snarls from the orchestra, pounding chords from the extreme registers of the piano over skittering figures from strings and braying brass characterized "Kahani". I felt no connection to the program or any sense of wonder and discovery in this piece that out did anything Roger Sessions or Elliot Carter ever penned. I am sure Serkin and the orchestra played the heck out of it; the performance sounded well prepared and committed. It just did little for me at all.
Until I get my coffee in the morning I'm a fit companion only for a sore-toothed tiger." ~Joan Crawford

karlhenning

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #50 on: July 06, 2009, 04:35:20 AM »
. . . I felt no connection to the program or any sense of wonder and discovery in this piece that out did anything Roger Sessions or Elliot Carter ever penned.

Would it be necessary to "outdo" Sessions or Carter?

karlhenning

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #51 on: July 06, 2009, 06:23:38 AM »
Cheesing is dangerous.

Beg pardon?

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #52 on: July 06, 2009, 06:25:28 AM »
Beg pardon?

Some South Park reference. You don't want to know.

karlhenning

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #53 on: July 06, 2009, 06:52:50 AM »
Ah.

Offline edward

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #54 on: July 06, 2009, 09:25:53 AM »
I need to spend more time with the Naxos recording of the Dante trilogy. Both times I've tried to listen to it thus far, I keep getting interrupted.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

greg

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #55 on: July 06, 2009, 03:08:01 PM »
Some South Park reference. You don't want to know.
Lol. It's this: provoking a male cat to mark its territory on your face, thus making you get high.
Eventually, they had made owning a cat illegal, so Cartman (the kid who idolizes Hitler and hates Jews) had to create a refuge in his attic for all of the neighborhood cats so that when the cops came, they couldn't find them and take them away. 
 

karlhenning

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #56 on: July 07, 2009, 02:29:16 AM »
He was right: I didn't want to know  8)

karlhenning

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #57 on: July 07, 2009, 02:30:36 AM »
I need to spend more time with the Naxos recording of the Dante trilogy. Both times I've tried to listen to it thus far, I keep getting interrupted.

I find that it rewards attention. Or, non-interrupted attention. Well, generally, I find it rewarding, anyway.

Offline Catison

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #58 on: November 10, 2009, 06:14:42 PM »
Anyone have news of the Cowboy opera?
-Brett

Offline Catison

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Re: Wuorinen's Whirlygig
« Reply #59 on: November 11, 2009, 08:00:54 AM »
Last night I listened to Time's Encomium again.  This time on my speakers, which is a different experience.  I still really love this piece.  I think it works, whereas most other pieces of electronic music fail, because of the episodic nature of the piece.  The electronic timbre of the music is completely foreign to most listeners, and the various episodes allows the listener catch his breath and learn the sound as the piece organically develops. 

I also found it interesting that Time's Encomium was commissioned by Teresa Sterne for Nonesuch Records.  I didn't know that record companies commissioned music before the Naxos Quartets, but I guess I stand corrected.
-Brett