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Chamber Music for Violin, Piano and Harpsichord

NEOS 11123CD NEOS 11123CD

Charles Wuorinen, born on June 9, 1938, into a highly cultivated, culturally committed New York family of Finnish descent, began composing at the age of five and won the New York Philharmonic's Young Composer Award at age 16 in 1954. In 1962, together with Harvey Sollberger and Nicolas Roussakis, he founded the pioneering Group for Contemporary Music. He continued to work intensively as a composer, pianist, conductor, and composition professor at various universities, and his 1979 textbook Simple Composition is used by students all over the world today. In 1970 Wuorinen became the youngest composer ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for his electronic composition Time's Encomium. In the words of Andreas Skouras, who has made a name for himself as a champion of contemporary music on the harpsichord and piano in equal measure, "In Charles Wuorinen's music I am fascinated by the mixture of complexity and the musician's joy of playing. On the one hand, his roots in the masters of the past are clearly recognisable in all parameters (melody, harmony, rhythm, counterpoint), but at the same time these are placed at the service of a stringently flowing motion that reaches its climax with purpose. This is found in exemplary fashion in the piano piece Heart Shadow, based on material from his Rushdie opera Haroun and the Sea of Stories." Violinist Anna Skouras remarks, "The two works for violin solo by Charles Wuorinen resemble each other at first glance. Both pieces are true gems in the violin literature, and I am pleased to have discovered them for myself and recorded them." This CD features compositions by Wuorinen performed by Anna Skouras (violin) and Andreas Skouras (piano).