Christian Wolff / Barton Workshop

Christian Wolff: (Re:) Making Music - Works 1962-1999

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Having little to do with issues of content and form, Christian Wolff's experimental works are more concerned with the ways music is created and received, and how the composer's conceptions are intimately tied to the performers' interactions and the listener's perceptions. Like his colleague John Cage, Wolff eschewed the rigors of post-Webernian serialism and instead wrote in an intuitive manner, avoiding systems and communicating more directly through raw sonorities and improvisation. Vol. 6 of the Edition Christian Wolff surveys works from 1962 to 1999, and covers a wide range of instrumental combinations and approaches, from the complex gestures of Kegama and the hyperactivity of Digger Song, to the conversational frankness of the vocal duets in Leaning Forward and the rustic fiddling of the Pieces (3) for violin and viola. Wolff's adventurous ideas are effectively shown in the four Exercises, where his concepts are worked out in short, digestible portions. Always attuned to Wolff's intentions and demands, the Barton Workshop makes his pieces sound fresh and vital, and recaptures some of the excitement this music generated at the height of the avant-garde. However, listeners should not take these performances as definitive, for that is an impossibility in Wolff's open-ended oeuvre. Mode's sound quality is consistently excellent throughout this varied double disc.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Violist Pieces, for solo viola
1
4:15
2
2:03
3
3:21
4
1:06
5
0:59
6
2:25
7
4:16
8
4:57
9
7:29
Emma, for viola, cello & piano
10
0:24
11
0:49
12
1:25
13
1:00
14
2:31
15
0:46
16
0:42
17
1:05
18
0:47
19
5:54
20
1:53
21
10:46
From Leaning Forward, for soprano, bass-baritone, clarinet, cello & piano
22
1:49
23
1:06
24
0:57
25
0:58
26
2:01
27
1:26
28
3:49
29
2:16
blue highlight denotes track pick