DAVID WILDE (b.1935): Suite Cry, Bosnia-Herzegovina, String Quartet No. 1, Piano Trio, A Prayer for Bosnia for Violin and Piano.
Catalogue Number: 12S061
Description: These works share a passionately personal emotional intensity. Wilde may have written frivolous divertimenti intended purely for entertainment at some point in his long and distinguished career (mostly as a pianist with a formidable command of a wide range of repertoire), but if so, no trace of them has been transferred to these pieces, all of which are in an approachable, if not exactly comfortable, idiom of modern extended tonality. The substantial four-movement quartet was written in response to the post-Soviet turmoil in Europe and the tragic events that followed in the Balkans. The searing last movement bears the title 'Threnody (for the unknown civilian victim of war and oppression), and this is the spirit of the whole work, with its tense, protesting first movement. Some relief is provided by the simple innocence of the intermezzo and the lively scherzo, but even this is overlain with a kind of twitchy agitation as it progresses. Wilde actually visited Sarajevo to witness the war zone and express solidarity with the city's citizens and its artistic community, still desperately trying to go about their lives. This inspired a number of works, including The Cellist of Sarajevo, 'a lament in rondo form', an impassioned soliloquy in honour of a Bosnian cellist who performed in the war torn street in memory of people killed there. This became the last movement of Cry ... in the composer's arrangement for violin, but is presented here in its original version for cello solo. The first movement is an aggressive, vigorous Totentanz, subtitled 'ethnic cleansing', featuring a powerful and memorable use of the Dies irae. Desolation and anger dominate the middle movements. Wilde reached his mature compositional voice in mid-life, following years of personal turmoil and self-realization through Jungian analysis. The trio charts this very personal journey, from the expressionist angst of the first movement via a very tonal song without words, an agitated, scurrying scherzo with a grotesque, mocking trio and a finale that revisits elements of earlier material with a new perspective. 2 CDs. Red Note Ensemble.