Adapting to the Times

James Winn (piano), Elizabeth Farnum (soprano), Benjamin Hudson (violin), Fred Sherry (cello), Curtis Macomber (violin), Kevin Bowyer (organ), Steven Schick (percussion), Marilyn Nonken (piano)

Catalog #: TROY0871
Release Date: November 1, 2006
Format: Digital

The music of Charles Wuorinen is well known for its formidable intellectual rigor, its daunting notational complexity, and the extraordinary virtuosity required of its performers. It is also noted as a seminal contribution to the repertoire and theory of "American Serialism," a catch-all term describing compositional techniques developed by mid-century American composers (especially Milton Babbitt) from the 12-tone method of Arnold Schoenberg. Just the same, Wuorinen is, in many ways, a traditionalist, for whom music still possesses certain inalienable truths and standards. Seeking to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, Wuorinen has never sought to denigrate, ignore, or replace music of the past. Nor has he ever indulged cynically in pandering, disposable "entertainment music" designed for mass consumption. Instead, his compositions aspire to an idealistic potential future. The selections on this compact disc are excerpted from nearly 35 years of prolific compositional activity, and although each work is a unique example of musical ideas and compositional technique, all have in common expert craftsmanship, an engaging rhetoric, and a satisfying sense of completeness. Above all, these works possess an exuberant musicality, a striking freshness and vigor, and an intelligence that invites and rewards attentive, active listening.


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Track Listing

Title Composer Performer
Katz Fugue Charles Wuorinen James Winn, piano
Christes Crosse Charles Wuorinen Elizabeth Farnum, soprano, James Winn, piano
Twelve Short Pieces Charles Wuorinen James Winn, piano
Self-Similar Waltz Charles Wuorinen James Winn, piano
Album Leaf for Howard Klein Charles Wuorinen James Winn, piano
Violin Variations Charles Wuorinen Benjamin Hudson, violin
Album Leaf for Fred and Ida Charles Wuorinen Curtis Macomber, violin, Fred Sherry, cello
Evolutio Charles Wuorinen Kevin Bowyer, organ
Janissary Music Charles Wuorinen Steven Schick, percussion
Adapting to the Times Charles Wuorinen Fred Sherry, cello, Marilyn Nonken, piano


  • "...this album...shows a human and even sentimental side of Wuorinen. ...Thanks to Wuorinen's connections and his credibility as a pianist, the performers here are of the highest quality....They give his music the careful, passionate performances that it deserves."

    – American Record Guide

  • "...a post-tonal style combining carefully balanced formal designs with vibrant and viruosic musical surfaces."

    – Signal to Noise

*Album cover provided for Editorial use only. ©Albany Records. The Albany Imprint is a registered trademark of PARMA Recordings LLC. The views and opinions expressed in this media are those of the artist and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views and opinions held by PARMA Recordings LLC and its label imprints, subsidiaries, and affiliates.