Genesis
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These monumental works continue our Charles Wuorinen Series.

Howard Stokar writes: "Religion, specifically the Judeo-Christian continuum, is integral to Charles Wuorinen's view of the world and his own work as a composer. The Latin Mass for the Restoration of St. Luke in the Fields was written to celebrate the rededication of a church in lower Manhattan which had burned to the ground on the night of March 6, 1981, and was subsequently rebuilt. The work is divided into seven sections: the first and last are purely instrumental, the central five compose the Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus/Benedictus, Angus Dei and a Communion motet. The motet is a setting of words from St. John which are inscribed on the rood screen of the original church. The Mass is a central work in Wuorinen's catalog. It is actually a Missa Brevis as it does not include the Credo. The reason for this is practical: St. Luke's requires congregational singing of the Credo. The mass was performed for the first time on November 20, 1983 at St. Ignatius of Antioch, New York City. A Solis Ortu and the reworking of the Josquin motet Ave Christe for piano were composed for Stephen Fisher, then President of C.F. Peters Corporation. Fisher, a fine amateur photographer, had given Wuorinen a photo of the sun rising over Yosemite National Park. In response, Wuorinen wrote the lovely short a cappella antiphon, A Solis Ortu, which is based on a related chant in the Liber usualis "From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the name of the Lord is to be praised". The first performance took place as part of the Solemn Mass at St. Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church conducted by Harold Chaney on December 30, 1990. Ave Christie is a re-casting of a portion of a motet by Renaissance master Josquin des Prez. Unlike Busoni, whose transformations of Bach chorales into late 19th century virtuoso showpieces are designed to display the talents of the performer, Wuorinen presents the Josquin simply, with elegant octave doubling, and registeral changes. He transforms the motet into a choral-like work for piano". About the main work on this disc, Genesis, Michael Steinberg writes: "Herbert Blomstedt, Music Director (1985-1995) of the San Francisco Symphony, was not just the first conductor of Genesis; he was in an important sense, the inspiration and godfather of this powerful work. In one of his conversations with Charles Wuorinen during the four years, 1985 to 1989, that he, Wuorinen, was the San Francisco Symphony's composer-in-residence, Blomstedt said 'Wouldn't it be nice if someone wrote a new Genesis' or words to that effect. Moreover, having conducted several of Wuorinen's instrumental works - Movers and Shakers, The Golden Dance, Another Happy Birthday, the Piano Concerto No. 3, and Machault Mon Chou - Blomstedt was curious to see what effect the challenge of writing a new work for chorus might have on the composer's musical language. From these exchanges came the impetus for Wuorinen to add his Genesis to the list - not large, but distinguished - of compositions on that subject by Haydn, Schoenberg and Milhaud."
Contents:
Charles Wuorinen, composer
Genesis
Minneosta Orchestra & Chorale, Edo de Waart, conductor

Charles Wuorinen, composer
Ave Christe: Josquin
Charles Wuorinen, piano

Charles Wuorinen, composer
A Solis Ortu
New York Virtuoso Singers, Charles Wuorinen, conductor

Charles Wuorinen, composer
Mass for the Restoration of St. Luke in the Fields
New York Virtuoso Singers, Curtis Macomber, violin, James Pugh, trombone, Joseph Alessi, trombone, David Taylor, bass trombone, Harold Chaney, organ, Charles Wuorinen, conductor

Review:
"Edo de Waart gives an impressively committed and exhilarating performance of this challenging work..." (American Record Guide)
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