JOHN WOOLRICH (b.1954): A Book of Studies (Sets 1-3) for Wind Quintet, A Cabinet of Curiosities for Piano, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn, Darker Still for Flute and Piano, Favola in Musica I for Oboe, Clarinet and Piano.
Catalogue Number: 08J113
Reference: CDE 84535
Description: Woolrich's characteristic shadowy, haunted musical world finds an apt affinity with that of Schumann in A Cabinet, which is based on the earlier composer's musical cryptogram Rebus. Each of the nine short movements contains ghostly echoes of the Schumann. Darker Still continues the same troubled mood, though even more so; the composer's own comment that ' the lights are snuffed out and shadows creep in, leaving the flute singing broken tunes in the dark.' says it all. An extended single movement, this is the most powerful here, and the most disturbing. The little studies are fragments from Woolrich's workshop, as it were; wholly characteristic gestures - lamenting melodies, chorales, fragmentary motifs that sound like the flute's 'broken tunes' from Darker Still. Favola in Musica explores another of the composer's preoccupations; the transcriptive re-imagining of earlier music - in this case Monteverdi - and the piece, with its themes of loss and the sea also became a memorial to another Venetian composer, Nono, who died while Woolrich was working on the piece. New London Chamber Ensemble.