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Wilson began to gain commissions quite early. For the first eight years of his working life he balanced writing music with instrumental teaching, but he is now in the enviable position of being able to concentrate on writing music. A fluent composer, he does not find the act of writing music burdensome, though for him sheer facility brings difficulties. 'One has to be very self-critical otherwise short cuts and laziness can lead to unimaginative treatments of the material.'

All six pieces being performed at Presteigne are chamber music, a genre which appeals to Wilson. His first quartet, Winter's Edge [listen -- 00:00-1:13], was the result of a commission but he enjoyed writing it so much that he has so far written seven, and though he swore off writing more he admits to having ideas for two more, 'there's just such a lot to be done with that combination of instruments, and also good quartets really prepare well so you can always expect a good performance. It's become a cliché to say that one can write one's most revealing work for quartet, but I have certainly found it true to date.'

If you glance at the list of CD recordings and first performances on Wilson's web site, certain names crop up more than once. He enjoys working on a regular basis with musicians that he knows. 'Some of my dearest friends are musicians I have written for on a number of occasions, and hope to write for again. It's partly to do with knowledge and trust of someone else's character and ability, so that when you write you can have these elements in mind and feel like you're tailoring the music for them. I think musicians like to know their personalities have become part of the compositional process and that provides a strong bond between composer and interpreter.'

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Copyright © 14 August 2005 Robert Hugill, London UK


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