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ClassicsOnline Home » WILSON, J.: Menorah / Concertino / Pearl and Unicorn
By Milton A. Caine
American Record Guide
Though counted as an Irish composer, James Wilson was born in London, and studied at Trinity College, where his music fell under the influence of Vaughan Williams. In 1948, at the age of 26, he settled in Ireland, and took on the mantle of a national composer. The 1965 children's opera, The Hunting of the Sark, took him to international recognition, and since then he has composed a number of orchestral works, including concertos and two symphonies, and has enjoyed much success with his catalogue of chamber music. Menorah, is scored for solo viola and orchestra, and came in response to a visit he made to the memorial outside Jerusalem, dedicated to those children who died in the Holocaust. Concertino is in one movement, and calls for a large orchestra, with important parts for solo cello and violin. Pearl and Unicorn is, in essence, a conventional three-movement violin concerto of a lyrical nature.
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