Parnassus, Anthony Korf; Paul Zukofsky, violin; Charles Wuorinen, piano; Donald MacCourt, bassoon; Susan Jolles, harp; Gordon Gottlieb, percussion
Charles Wuorinen writes music dense with notes, with event, with cross reference and allusion. He has never thought that there must be something wrong with a piece that reaches its listeners at first encounter, but he does believe in writing music that challenges performers and listeners to do better than they knew they could, that reveals its riches gradually than all at once, that rewards attention and effort.
These three works, written in the span of a decade, date from the earlier phase of Wuorinen's career. The Duo for Violin and Piano (1966) is an exuberant work of bold contrasts and angular rhythms, bursting with youthful energy and self-assurance. The tone of Bassoon Variations (1971-72) is in almost direct contrast. The mood is altogether more subdued, almost elegiac. Darker colors, courtesy of the harp and timpani accompaniment, predominate. The program closes with the title composition, The Winds (1977), for large chamber ensemble. Wuorinen exploits the broad palette of sonorities and colors at his disposal to create a richly textured, colorful work animated by rambunctious rhythms.