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Individuality and Variety

chamber music
by Gernot Wolfgang -
reviewed by

'... highly professional performances ...'

Gernot Wolfgang: Common Ground - groove-oriented chamber music. © 2006 Albany Records

Born in Bad Gastein, Austria, Gernot Wolfgang is a graduate of USC's 'Scoring for Motion Pictures and TV', and also holds degrees from the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the Austria University of Music in Graz. He has received commissions from individuals and organizations such as the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Verdehr Trio, Los Angeles Philharmonic principal bassoon, David Breidenthal, flutist Susan Greenberg and the Jazz Bigband Graz. As a guitarist with the Austrian ensemble 'The QuARTet', he has recorded two critically-acclaimed CDs. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

He writes, 'As a former jazz guitarist, rhythms are a top priority for me. Specifically, rhythms (grooves) that can be found in 20th century music styles such as jazz, rock, pop, world music, etc. I have made it my mission to find ways of organically incorporating grooves into orchestral or chamber music settings, hence the subtitle of this CD. That doesn't mean that all of the music is based on grooves all of the time, but grooves play important roles within the individual pieces. My goal is to allow them to have an equal standing among other compositional devices already established in contemporary concert music.'

Metamorphosis, a satisfying one-movement piano quartet written for the 2001 (Los Angeles) Chamber Music Palisades Series remains contemplative throughout, even as the pace becomes more upbeat midway through its eleven-minute duration [listen -- track 1, 5:42-7:24]. A principal, quasi-improvisatory opening violin theme recurs repeatedly and where the piano is in the ascendant, Wolfgang's strings respond with pizzicato. In his accompanying note the composer draws attention to changing musical environments around the dominant violin.

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Copyright © 29 October 2006 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand


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