ARTISTS

Wood, James

James
Wood
Conductor
James Wood is known for his wide-ranging activities as composer, conductor,and formerly as viruoso percussionist, and for a close association with an exceptionally broad spectrum of music from the middle ages to the present day. In 1981 he founded the highly acclaimed New London Chamber Choir, of which he was principal conductor for over 25 years until his move to Germany in April 2007. During the last 10 years he has worked regularly with the Netherlands Radio Choir, RundfunkChor Berlin, RIAS Kammerchor, SWR Vokalensemble, Champ d’Action and musikFabrik, and is also in demand as guest conductor from many international ensembles, choirs and orchestras throughout Europe.
 
James Wood has enjoyed close working relationships with many distinguished composers such as Iannis Xenakis, Mauricio Kagel, Kaija Saariaho, Gyorgy Kurtag, Alejandro Viñ, Steve Reich, Jonathan Harvey and Karlheinz Stockhausen. As a composer his interests have led to a wide range of works for almost every conceivable genre. He has realised commissions from such diverse sources as the Arditti Quartet, IRCAM, the ARD, Percussions de Strasbourg and the BBC Proms.

 

MEDIA

James Wood - Cloud-Polyphonies

  • Total duration: 55'03
  • CD | PRICE £12.99

  • MP3 | 320K 44.1 KHz
    137.1 MB
     | PRICE £7.99

  • FLAC 16 | 16bit 44.1 KHz
    269.70 MB
     | PRICE £8.99

  • FLAC 24 | 24bit 48 KHz
    629.20 MB
     | PRICE £13.99

COMPOSER:

DESCRIPTION

Artists:

MDR Leipzig Radio Choir · Ear Massage Percussion Quartet · James Wood conductor
Yale Percussion Group · Robert Van Sice director

James Wood’s multi-faceted career has led him into an extraordinarily broad spectrum of musical activities, as conductor, composer, musicologist, instrument designer and percussionist.

Tongues of Fire (2001) is a work for symphonic chorus and percussion quartet, written for the 140th Anniversary of the Yale Glee Club. Conscious of the enormous tradition of American university Glee Clubs, and the part that gospel and spiritual music has played in it, Wood emphasizes America’s rich cultural diversity using the story of the Pentecost. The central text from The Acts of the Apostles is set in various languages, starting in Latin-American Spanish and splintering off into Hebrew, Maori, Jamaican English, Latin, Hungarian, Russian, German and French. A quartet of oil drums, plus cowbells, gongs, guiros and metal rods provide percussive timbral richness and power. These combine with a variety of vocal styles, including chanting, singing, hissing and whistling, to give the work a tribal feel.

Percussion sextet Cloud-Polyphonies explores the movements of large formations of organisms – whether animals, insects, birds, fish, water, steam or crowds of human beings. The first movement 'Starlings', is written for six marimbas and woodblocks, the second, 'Clouds', for metal instruments and prepared piano, and the third, 'Buffalo', for drums, simantras and bullroarers.

REVIEWS

NOMINATED FOR BEST CONTEMPORARY RECORDING AT 2017 INTERNATIONAL CLASSICAL MUSIC AWARDS

'The visceral allure of this work [Tongues of Fire], reminded me, at times, of everything from Balinese monkey chant and early Penderecki to the Missa Luba. It grabs you, initially, as a lush sonic banquet, and ends by making a deep spiritual impression … the percussionists thrill in a way that is both aesthetic and athletic' Fanfare

"Brilliant scoring, superbly realised" BBC Radio 3 Record Review

'An especially virtuoso moment in Wood's exuberant choral writing is constantly propelled by his equally inventive writing for the percussion quartet playing on oil drums, from which they extract an amazing range of textures and colours' The Guardian

'James Wood writes pieces of bristling rhythm and taut, colourful percussive effects' Gramophone

'[Tongues of Fire] brings out a Pan-American sensibility in Wood's writing ... His aesthetic is an imaginative and purposeful one, which helps the listener to find compelling through-lines in each of his works' Sequenza 21

'This is vibrant, vital music' Classical Modern Music Review

PUBLISHING DETAILS

James Wood Edition

RECORDING CREDITS

Tongues of Fire was recorded at Peterskirche, Leipzig, Germany on 5-7 November, 2014
MICHAEL SILBERHORN Recording Producer
MATHIAS METZNER Recording Engineer
OLIVER HILBICH, JOHANNES PHILLIPP Recording Technicians
JAMES WOOD Editing


Cloud-Polyphonies was recorded at Sprague Memorial Hall, New Haven, CT, USA on 3-5 June, 2013
EUGENE KIMBALL Recording Engineer
JAMES WOOD Recording Producer & editing

COLIN MATTHEWS Executive Producer for NMC
FRANCOIS HALL Graphic design

Catalogue number:
NMC D223
Release Date:
19 February 2016