David Wolfson: Seventeen Windows; Cello Sonata / Jenny Lin, Laura Bontrager


Composer David Wolfson studied composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music and has lived in New York City since 1986 working as a conductor, arranger, pianist and music director for a wide variety of projects, especially related to the theatre. This first CD of his music from Albany Records includes the composer's solo piano music and a cello sonata.

Seventeen Windows is a set of seventeen brief piano pieces ranging in length from one to three minutes. The works encompass a wide variety of moods, musical styles and expressive techniques including atonality, bitonality, tone clusters and polyrhythm all the while showing influences as wide-ranging as impressionism and minimalism. Generally built on one or several rhythmic and harmonic musical ideas, each piece has its own distinct character. I found the music to be very interesting, and the brevity and variety of the pieces kept the listening fresh and fascinating.

Mr. Wolfson's Seventeen Windows is performed by pianist Jenny Lin - an excellent pianist who's work on both the BIS and Hänssler Classics labels has been critically acclaimed. Her command of an extraordinary breadth of textural and expressive gradients makes Ms. Lin an ideal proponent of this repertoire. Albany Records provides exceptional sound quality with the instrument positioned perfectly, at just the right distance. In addition to Wolfson's Seventeen Windows, cellist Laura Bontrager joins Ms. Lin for a first-rate reading of the composer's Sonata for Cello and Piano. I think that any listener with an adventurous bent will enjoy this album.