RICHARD WERNICK (b.1934): Horn Quintet (William Purvis [horn], Juilliard String Quartet), String Quartet No. 6 (Colorado Quartet), The Name of the Game for Guitar and 11 Players (David Starobin [guitar], International Contemporary Ensemble; Cliff Colnot), Da'ase and Trochaic Trot for Guitar (Starobin).
Catalogue Number: 08L095
Description: The horn quintet's rhythmically lively outer movements frame a slow middle one in which the horn is used more as a solo instrument than elsewhere, highlighting its lyrical capabilities. Typically of the composer, the music is contrapuntally intricate and highly chromatic, though always of exemplary clarity of texture. The quartet, in one movement, is based on small cells of partial rows and intervals throughout, giving it a sense of economy while permitting great expansiveness of expression from its initially terse material. The Name of the Game is a two-movement chamber concerto based on a musical monogram derived from the present soloist's name and exhaustively worked out in all its melodic and harmonic implications in music of intricate polyphonic textures and constant shifts of character; the 'theme' is sufficiently recognizable and constantly present that the whole takes on something of the character of very free variations, providing an unifying thread that renders it instantly approachable and readily navigable.