Reflections

Composed in:
1999
Description:
violin, clarinet & piano
Duration:
12 minutes
Publisher:
Doblinger Music Publishers, Vienna (catalog # 07 357)
Commissioned by:
The Verdehr Trio and Michigan State University
Premiere performance:
3/5/2000 at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. by the Verdehr Trio (Walter Verdehr - violin, Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr - clarinet and Silvia Roederer - piano)
CD recording:
The Verdehr Trio, INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIONS, Crystal Records CD 946

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More information about the CD recording of Reflections

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Purchase the sheet music for Reflections at:

Theodore Front Musical Literature, Inc.

sheetmusicplus.com

Reviews:

” … a truly modern work which would satisfy even the most hard core audiences at the Darmstadt Festival … the inherently musical language of Reflections points to Wolfgang’s solid background in jazz and film music … performers and audiences alike will enjoy the gripping emotionality of the piece.”

Ensemble Magazin, Germany

” … a quite classically developed piece wherein its initial motive is teased out in ways that communicate in numerous affective realms – Schubert would have smiled.”

Fanfare

” … Gernot Wolfgang by immediate contrast operates deeper in Bergian waters. There are perhaps hints too of Contrasts but more so I think of the Berg Violin Concerto. He also covers a wide canvas of effects, from bent, or blue notes for the clarinetist, to the violin’s slapped pizzicati. There are also folkloric moments and from 10:20 some expressive moments when each instrument dons a soloistic mantle. The finale is driving with a strangely ambiguous, held final note.”

Jonathan Woolf, Musicweb-International.com

” Wolfgang’s Reflections begins pensively, but works its way through several changes of mood, some of which create real rhythmic vitality. Solo instruments often imitate each other, and the music builds in much the same way as a jazz improvisation—I’m thinking here of the section beginning at 10:35 featuring violin and clarinet alone. Wolfgang’s harmony is that of complex modern jazz, notably in the piano part, and the clarinet is often asked to do jazz-like glissandos, but overall the piece is more reflective than propulsive. The coda is most effective: you can almost sense the three musicians simultaneously deciding to settle on a common E♭”.

Phillip Scott, Fanfare

A true Renaissance man, Austrian-born Gernot Wolfgang is an accomplished composer, orchestrator and jazz guitarist. This versatility is showcased in his Reflections, which combines elements of jazz with formal elements of 20th-century music. The work is a human being’s never-ending journey through life, traveling through many musical landscapes, styles, textures and moods. In this respect, it is interesting and appealing for the listener, as the direction of the work is not always evident. The violin and clarinet are the actors while the piano performs the role of the analyzer, or the reflector. The violin and clarinet solos at the beginning are musically well paced and performed with a masterful control of the high register in a soft dynamic level. The ensemble’s musical lines are cleverly well crafted and homogenous. Although the work resembles a palindrome, the energetic coda does not allow this life’s journey to resolve. The ensemble’s capacity to perform in this assortment of musical styles and to hastily change from one style to the next is especially impressive. Most notably, the pianist’s perfect sense of time and rhythmic accuracy is the “glue” that fastens all of the elements together, resulting in a seamless cohesiveness.


Ani Berberian, The Clarinet

” … quietly Satiean (and possibly H. K. Gruberesque) references to cakewalk and ragtime within a fairly chromatic idiom.”

Calum McDonald, International Record Review

” … swooping rhapsodic gestures and a funky piano groove … ”

Brian Wise, Juilliard Journal Online