Wuorinen: Second Piano Quintet/ Scherzo/ Viola Variations (Brentano String Quartet/ Curtis Macomber/ Fred Sherry/ Jesse Mills/ Peter Serkin) (Naxos: 8.559694)
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Charles Wuorinen's staggeringly prolific output has been remarkably consistent yet tremendously varied. This disc presents the first commercial recordings of three recent pieces, together with the First String Quartet, a watershed work in the composer's career. Wuorinen's personal musical language is unabashedly modernist yet imbued with a love of early polyphony, and makes virtuosic demands on the performers. This spritely, sometimes elusive, often 'maximalist' music invites multiple interpretations and hearings to reveal the riches deep beneath its sparkling, ever-shifting surface.
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