Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Music Webmaster Len Mullenger:

Richard WILSON

Affirmations - fl, cl, vn, vc, pf
Intercalations - piano
Civilization and its Discontents - tuba
Transfigured Goat - mezzo, bar, cl, piano

Mary Anne Hart (mezzo) Richard Lalli (bar) Allen Blustine (cl) Richard Wilson (pno)
ALBANY TROY389 [65.39]
Amazon US

I reviewed Wilson's first collection six months back and am glad to hear more. He is a Cleveland-born composer and clearly no self-publicising braggart but a serious composer with a glint of humour in his eyes.

Affirmations wings its jazzy non-tonal way with much troubled and irate music switching occasionally into a grumbling trudge. The piano work Intercalations takes us through a Betelgeuse-like spatial pilgrimage, a scuttling interplay, a rustling and sidling waltz and a sense of unease. Civilization and its Discontents is the most lyrical piece on the disc and the 'singer' is the solo tuba. Its chesty warble offset by the metallic click of the keys tracks its way through music of impulses thwarted and aggressions repressed but concludes with music bobbing and shuffling along. Wilson has a considerable sense of humour as is evident from his liner notes. Transfigured Goat sounds like nothing so much as a slightly updated version of Samuel Barber's A Hand of Bridge. It has the same sense of psychological counterpoint. The music is barbed and stabbing, well sung, fast and sinuous and peppered with a sour harmonic decay.

To be welcomed by the adventurous explorer.

Rob Barnett

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