Music of Richard Wilson
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR602     Release Date: 2007-01-01
The Muir String Quartet: [Lucy Chapman Stoltzman, violin; Bayla Keyes, violin; Steven Ansell, viola; Michael Reynolds, cello]; Blanca Uribe, piano; Nancy Allen, harp; Paul Sperry, tenor; Rolf Schulte, violin; Ursula Oppens, piano; Harvey Sollberger, flute; Yoko Matsuda, violin; Fred Sherry, cello

“In art, as in science,” Vladimir Nabokov wrote, “there is no delight without the detail.” One of the largest pieces in this recorded retrospective of Richard Wilson's music, The Ballad of Longwood Glen, is a setting of a Nabokov text. But the great novelist/poet/scholar's dictum comes to mind as one listens to all six of the works collected here, for Wilson uses a musical language meticulous in its care for detail and informed by a fastidiousness of imagination that is rare in these loud-spoken times but that are utterly characteristic of the man...

Not only in the Nabokov setting (where the bizarre story would lead us to expect it), but in all of his music, and perhaps most strikingly and ambitiously in his String Quartet No. 3, the listener encounters the work of a composer who searches for the elusive moment of certainty that can constitute at once a rewarding artistic statement and a reassurance about the solidity of the world.

The moment often passes as rapidly as it comes. Take, for example, the evanescent unisons that offer firm ground among the mercurial chromatic explorations of the Quartet's central Episode. These moments are affirmations all the more valuable for being so hard won. Wilson's art, whatever this brief account may suggest, and despite his unmistakable relish for the goings-on in Longwood Glen, is not surrealist. It encompasses strangeness, which is set for our contemplation beside the everyday and the prosaic, but there is no attempt to equate the two. Wilson is never under any illusion about the unearthliness of his imaginative flights. As a result, the listener too has a sense of the range of musical experience in this consummate blend of technical craft with transcendent sound-poetry.

- Bernard Jacobson, 1991


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

Various Artists

Music of Richard Wilson

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

String Quartet No. 3: I. Prelude
Richard Wilson
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String Quartet No. 3: II. Episode
Richard Wilson
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String Quartet No. 3: III. Elegy
Richard Wilson
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Eclogue
Richard Wilson
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Ballad of Longwood Glen
Richard Wilson
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Concert Piece for Violin and Piano
Richard Wilson
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Music for Solo Flute
Richard Wilson
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Music for Violin and Cello
Richard Wilson
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