|Instrumentation||3 percussion, strings (6-5-3-3-2 or similar)|
|Difficulty||moderate to difficult; the percussion parts (mallets, snare drum and timpani are the principal instruments) are groove-oriented|
|Comments||As in all of my concert music works, a number of sections within ALPINE STORY are based on grooves stemming from jazz, rock & roll and world music. The percussion parts are prominent, but largely not soloistic in nature. Rather, they form the rhythmic backbone of the composition. |
The main thematic material is inspired by Austrian folk music, but is presented in a style reminiscent of some of the great jazz fusion ensembles of the 1980s (Pat Metheny Group, Steps Ahead). The counterpoint passages have an "Americana" feel to it, while the quiet, atmospheric sections are influenced by my work in film and television.
|Sources||ALPINE STORY is available as a rental (score & parts) from Doblinger Music Publishers in Vienna, Austria. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Extras||For more information on ALPINE STORY (including selected score and audio excerpts), please visit http://gernotwolfgang.com/concert/alpine.asp|
|History||Commissioned by the Tiroler Kammerorchester InnStrumenti, which premiered the piece on 11/20/2004 at the Canisianum in Innsbruck, Austria (conductor: Gerhard Sammer) |
Review of the U.S. premiere by the San Luis Obispo Symphony by James Cushing, San Luis Obispo Tribune (12/02/2006):
[ALPINE STORY is] the work of Gernot Wolfgang, a remarkable mid-career musician. Born in Austria in 1957, Wolfgang has been based in Los Angeles for 10 years, and his music also seems to be from several places at once ... If Wolfgang's title conjures something like Strauss' "Alpine Symphony," guess again. This 14-minute tone poem moves between old Europe and today's Los Angeles, bridging moody percussion with repeating string figures. A timpanist pounds out riffs the strings make deeper. Cymbals are stroked with violin bows until they scream. Marimbas and vibraphones clang and bong while a snare drummer browses between jazz and rock. Strings start plucking. Everything seems to circle back to the opening figures, but then it gets more interesting. It's over too soon. "Alpine Story" might not be a linear narrative, but it's full of surprises and accessible on several levels. The Arroyo Grande audience got to be the first in the United States to hear it.
|Contributor||Gernot Wolfgang |
CONTINUUM III - Fantasies for a Blue Bassoon
|Instrumentation||bassoon soloist; 1 flute/piccolo, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet (in Bb); 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 1 trombone; 5 (or 4) percussion, harp, piano; strings (6-6-4-3-2 or similar)|
|Difficulty||moderate to difficult; the bassoon part is soloistic and technically (but not extremely) challenging; the percussion is the backbone of several groove-oriented sections|
|Comments||CONTINUUM III - Fantasies for a Blue Bassoon could be described as interconnected “variations for bassoon und chamber orchestra”, thereby forming a one-movement piece of about 13 minutes in length. Stylistically, the composition is a blend of jazz elements and 20th century concert music writing.|
|Sources||CONTINUUM III - Fantasies for a Blue Bassoon is available as a rental (score & parts) from Doblinger Music Publishers in Vienna, Austria. Please contact email@example.com|
|Extras||For more information on CONTINUUM III - Fantasies for a Blue Bassoon (including selected score and audio excerpts), please visit http://gernotwolfgang.com/Concert/continuum_3.asp|
|History||Commissioned by the Austrian Chamber Symphony, which premiered the piece on 10/20/1997 at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Austria (bassoon soloist: Martin Machovits; conductor: Ernst Theis). |
Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara News-Press
... a work successfully traversing that risky bridge between jazz and classical, with integrity intact ... the piece - an impressive first orchestral effort for the composer - deftly moves across stylistic boundaries, alternating suggesting the terse harmonic language of contemporary classical music and such jazz influences as Gil Evans' work with Miles Davis and the general musical thought train of Austria's greatest gift to jazz, Joe Zawinul. It opens and closes with murmuring, microtonal string activity, crisply puntuated by syncopated lines and active percussion parts ... a last emphatic climactic finale is a tease, followed up by a trickling residue of soft sonic activity, drifting into the ether.
Ronald Klimko, The Double Reed
This is another exciting composition for bassoon from the pen of the incredibly gifted composer, Gernot Wolfgang ... The 13-minute work is a truly impressive piece of contemporary music and a very significant contribution to the bassoon literature of the 20th Century. There is no doubt in my mind that Wolfgang is a major composer of our times. His style is that of greatly expanded tonality - more into the atonal range - but uniquely melodic and rhythmic without being overly pointillistic and disjunct ... It is perhaps one of the most eloquent examples of what composer Gunther Schuller called "third-stream-music", combining elements of jazz and classical in a unique manner and style ... This is a wonderful composition, worthy of serious consideration for performance by the best bassoon soloists of our time ...
|Contributor||Gernot Wolfgang |
CONTINUUM IV - Cascades
|Instrumentation||flute soloist (on alto flute, flute and piccolo); 2 ob (2nd doubles on eng hn), 2 cl (1st doubles on Eb cl, 2nd doubles on bcl), 2 bsn (2nd doubles on cbsn); 2 fhn, 2 tpt, 2 tbn (2nd doubles on btbn); 3 perc, cel, hp; strings (8-7-5-4-2 or similar)|
|Difficulty||moderate to difficult; the flute parts are soloistic and technically (but not extremely) challenging; the percussion is the backbone of several groove-oriented sections|
|Comments||CONTINUUM IV - Cascades is in one movement, which is divided into three distinct, interconnected sections. Each of these sections features the flute soloist on a different instrument (starting on the alto flute, moving to the flute and ending on the piccolo). True to its title, variously orchestrated “cascades” - freely flowing elements of sound - occur throughout the piece. The flute is the dominant musical voice, but solo strings, often grouped together as a string quartet, provide a secondary soloistic element. The harmonic language is one of extended tonality, contemporary compositional techniques such as pitch-bending, aleatoric passages, and jazz-, rock- and folk-related rhythms (“grooves”) are employed frequently.|
|Sources||CONTINUUM IV - Cascades is available as a rental (score & parts) from Doblinger Music Publishers in Vienna, Austria. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Extras||For more information on CONTINUUM IIV - Cascades (including selected score and audio excerpts), please visit http://gernotwolfgang.com/concert/continuum_4.asp|
|History||Commissioned by Susan Greenberg (flutist of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra), who premiered the piece with the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra on 10/23/2004 at the Hall of Liberty in Los Angeles, CA (conductor: Steven Kerstein). |
Subsequent performances by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in 2006 (flute soloist: Susan Greenberg, conductor: Jeffrey Kahane)
Daniel Cariaga, Los Angeles Times
[Continuum IV - Cascades] is a gently dissonant, bright and aggressively amiable piece, alternately jazzy and pastoral.
|Contributor||Gernot Wolfgang |
|Instrumentation||2 fl (2nd doubles on picc), 1 ob, 1 engl.hn, 2 cl (2nd doubles on bcl), 1 bsn, 1 contra-bsn; 2 fhn, 2 tpt; 2 perc; strings (8-7-4-4-2 or similar)|
|Difficulty||moderate to difficult; there are several soloistic parts (violin, clarinet, horn, oboe and viola), which are technically (however not extremely) challenging; the horn solo is notated in the score, but it can also be improvised; the percussion is the backbone of several groove-oriented sections|
|Comments||DESERT WIND was written in 2006-07 as a concerto for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (Jeffrey Kahane, music director). The featured instruments are - in order of their appearance - violin, clarinet, horn (this part can also be improvised)i, oboe and viola. From a programmatic point of view, the piece deals with something very typical of Los Angeles - the Santa Ana winds. I was interested in musically exploring what goes on when these desert winds hit the city. As always in my concert music, grooves - rhythms from jazz, rock ‘n roll, world music, electronica etc. - are a part of the mix.|
|Sources||DESERT WIND is available as a rental (score & parts) from Doblinger Music Publishers in Vienna, Austria. Please contact email@example.com|
|Extras||For more information on DESERT WIND (including selected score and audio excerpts), please visit http://gernotwolfgang.com/concert/Desert_Wind_compl.asp |
To listen to the complete May 20, 2007 performance of Desert Wind by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra on NPR click on http://symphonycast.publicradio.org/programs/2007/10/15/ Once on the Symphonycast website, click on "Listen (hour 1)". The performance starts about 3:30 into the broadcast.
|History||Commissioned by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra through its Sound Investment program. The orchestra premiered the piece on 05/19/2007 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA (conductor: Jeffrey Kahane). |
Subsequent performance by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra ion 05/20/2007 at RoyceHall/UCLA in Los Angeles, CA.
Review in the Los Angeles Times
by Richard S. Ginell
... [Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra music director Jeffrey] Kahane was back just in time to unveil the latest LACO Sound Investment commission, a 14-minute tone poem by Austrian-born, Los Angeles-based composer Gernot Wolfgang called "Desert Wind". Talk about a fortuitous title. Desert Winds have been very much on our minds lately, what with the ominously early arrival of the Santa Anas accompanied by wildfires in Griffith Park and Gorman. Wolfgang's arresting, jazz- drenched new score seemed to capture at once the realities and myths of Los Angeles during fire season. The winds themselves were exactingly summoned up by the swirling strings and horns, with a snare drum rat-ta-tatting away. At other times, the strings were caught in a state of sustained unresolved tension, animated by chugging grooves in the percussion. There was a jazzy French horn solo for Richard Todd and a tricky oboe solo for Allen Vogel, who stood when they played as if in a big band. The sustained string tension and percussion punctuations reminded one of the music of another transplanted local notable, William Kraft. This piece could also serve as the score for an archetypical 1950s L.A. detective thriller - music that's somehow cool and sultry at the same time, suggesting danger in the palm tree paradise. Wherever your imagination takes you, Wolfgang provides the fuel - Desert Wind ought to have legs beyond its premiere.
|Contributor||Gernot Wolfgang |
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