Three Short Stories

Composed in:
viola & bassoon (in three movements)
11 minutes
Doblinger Music Publishers, Vienna (catalog # 06 710). Individual parts are available for clarinet (Cat. # 36 605 KL) and violoncello (Cat. # 06 710 VC).
Commissioned by:
Premiere performance:
10/09/2000 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA by Brian Dembow - viola and Judith Farmer - bassoon.
CD recording:
Gernot Wolfgang, SHORT STORIES, Albany Records TROY1248


More information about the CD recording of Three Short Stories for viola & bassoon


Purchase the sheet music for Three Short Stories at:

Theodore Front Musical Literature, Inc. (version for viola & bassoon) (version for viola & bassoon) (clarinet part) (violoncello part)


“Wow! Composer Gernot Wolfgang has written another “keeper” of a work here for the unlikely combination of viola and bassoon! … As is the case with his other chamber works, Gernot’s compositional style draws heavily on the elements of jazz and widely expanded traditional harmony … The three movements: Uncle Bebop, Rays of Light and Latin Dance, follow the traditional fast-slow-fast format and forms for the most part, but as with his other works, are immediately captivating for their expressiveness and excellent, interesting musical ideas that draw the listener right in … I cannot recommend this work strongly enough to you – a true “keeper”.

Ronald Klimko, The Double Reed 

  ” … [this piece has] an orchestral sound that defies that there are only two instruments.”

Bill Peters,

“Its three movements – Uncle Bebop, Rays of Light and Latin Dance – make for an effective triptych with two riotous rhythmic romps framing a rhapsodic, cadenza-like centerpiece. The performance by Ms. Farmer and violist Brian Dembow [on Gernot Wolfgang's CD Short Stories] is jaw-dropping, with syncopations, cross-rhythms and the frequent long general rests perfectly unanimous … ”

Carlos Maria Solare, Journal of the American Viola Society

Three Short Stories opens with Uncle Bebop, which shows off both musicians’ fine ensemble skills as well as Farmer’s excellent low range. The middle movement, Rays of Light, is written in the now familiar Wolfgang slow-movement idiom and features the two players more as soloists than as duo members. Farmer and Dembow’s playing here is superb: well-paced and wonderfully in-tune (note the last harmony).”

(from a review of Gernot Wolfgang’s CD Short Stories) Ryan Romine, The Double Reed

“This major work for viola and bassoon in roughly 10 minutes presents sensuous melodic lines and sumptuous harmonies that are not traditionally tonal but easily accessible. The haunting feeling of this piece shows a strong jazz influence in its effective cross-rhythms and intricate counterpoint. The form is at once clear, concise and emotionally powerful.”

Ray Tischer, The Inner Voice (newsletter of the Southern California Viola Society)

“The juxtaposition of viola and bassoon makes for a plangent clash of textures and ideas … “

Barnaby Rayfield, Fanfare