Composer and Pianist

photo by Dominique Nabokov

Richard Wilson's compositions are marked by a stringent yet lyrical atonality which often sets him apart from the established schools of modern American music: minimalism, twelve-tone, neo-romanticism, and avant-garde. Two of his works, Eclogue for solo piano, and his String Quartet No. 3, are considered high points of twentieth-century American music. His large-scale orchestral works include the Symphony No. 1, premiered by the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and recorded by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; Articulations, written for the San Francisco Symphony. Wilson is also the composer of the one-act whimsical opera, Æthelred the Unready, based on the exploits of the ill-advised Saxon king, Æthelred II of England. He classified the three types of irregular resolutions of dominant seventh chords.[2]

Eclogue

Wilson has an unerring ear for the right sound and a fabulous command of the instrument. If there must be "standard repertoire," Eclogue should be part of it. Very difficult, very beautiful.

David Burge Contemporary Keyboard 1979 "Best Pieces of the '70s

TRANSFIGURED GOAT

A Curtainraiser. Text by Richard Wilson, inspired by Joe Orton

1.

Man: What kind of dog is this?

Woman: An outrageous animal.

Man: What sort of fraud do we have here?

Woman: A preposterous charlatan....Have you got an appointment today?

M: The trademark is in the shape of a goat.

W: Have you got an appointment today?

M: A French cheese salesman would be even worse.

W: Have you got an appointment today?

M: Yes, I'm to be at Lincoln Center at eleven. I'm meeting someone behind the

scrim.

W: You always go to such interesting locations. Are you taking the van?


2.

W: There is no telling who my father was.

M: Are you taking the van?

W: I refuse to discuss my financial affairs.

M: Is violence within your means?

W: Are you taking the van?

M: There is no telling who your father was.

W: We grant an exemption only in the case of possession by the Devil.

M: This dog has violated every known rule and regulation.

W: I am shocked beyond expression.

M: You always go to such fascinating locations. Are you taking the van?

W: The trademark is in the shape of a goat.

3.

M: Let me be candid, Ms. Vander Twee. I can't promote you if you're in any

way miraculous. It would be contrary to our tenure policy. You did have a

father?

W: Our dog is some kind of a goat.

M: Are you an exhibitionist?

W: I slept next to one once.

4.

M: Don't go yet. I don't trust myself....

W: Couldn't you just pretend...

M: ...at this time of the evening.

W: ...to have throttled me? Couldn't you just pretend...

M: Don't trust myself at this time...

W: Just pretend to have throttled me?

M: To save face? I don't trust myself.

W: To save face? Couldn't you just pretend...

M: Pretend to save face...

W: I am shocked...

M: You are throttled...

W: No telling...there is no telling...

M: No telling where the dog is...

W. Who my father was...

M: Some kind of baboon...

W: Pretend to throttle...

M: I just don't trust...

W: No telling who was shocked...

M: Who was throttled...

W: What kind of dog...

M: Something is going on here...

W: My father was throttled...

M: And I don't know what...

W: Shocked beyond expression.

M: How refreshing...

W: How refreshing...

M: How refreshing to meet a sensitive artist in today's world of

highly-praised baboons.

W: Don't go yet.

M: I don't trust myself at this time of the evening.

5.

M: Your first was poisoned. Your second collapsed while celebrating

Nixon's resignation. Your third fell from a hot air balloon. Your fourth

took an overdose on the eve of his retirement from Princeton. Your fifth

and sixth husbands disappeared in the subway. Presumed dead. Your last

partner suffered a seizure three nights after marrying you. How do you

account for this?

W: I refuse to discuss my financial affairs.

6.

M: A French cheese salesman would be even worse.

W: You could say she'd gone to Anaheim. That spells death to most people.

M: She's shown no preference for California. Not even under hypnosis.

W: There is some kind of chicanery involved here.

M: I've an appointment at the nude calendar shop. I've been commissioned

to do October.

W: Say she's on a surf-riding holiday. The bizarre culture of the coast

fascinates her. She takes up residence. And, after a decent interval, is

swept into the ocean on a dinghy.

M: Would that suit you?

W: It isn't the death I've dreamt of.

7.

W: Our dog is some kind of impostor.

M: You refuse to discuss your financial affairs.

W: I refuse to discuss my financial affairs.

M: Our dog is a fraudulent animal.

W: What a....

M: Dismal failure...

W: Yes, the trademark is in the shape of a baboon.

M: I refuse to discuss our dog...

W: ...is some kind of a goat...

M: ...does not share your affection for Grieg...

W: Are you some kind of a nut?

M: ...and Rachmaninov; Spohr and Puccini.

W: What are you talking about?

M: Let me be candid, Ms. Vander Twee. I can't promote you if you're in any

way miraculous. It would be contrary to our tenure policy. You did have a

father?

W: Oh, I'm sure I did. My mother was frugal in her habits, but she'd never

economize to that extent.

M: Have you got an appointment today?

W: I've an appointment at the nude calendar shop. I've been commissioned

to do October.

M: You always go to such fascinating locations. Are you taking the van?