Jeffrey Wood

Comedies (1988)

Canto I: Storm and Counterstorm

Canto II: Elegy

Canto IIIL Flight

commissioned by Quintet of the Americas This work was released on the Never Sing before Breakfast CD (Newport Classic) in 1991.

Quintet of the Americas met Prof. Jeffrey Wood during a residency at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Comedies had its inception in a letter about Dante’s Divine Comedy, in which the writer stated that the poem “proceeds from Hell to Heaven, from the worse to the better.” Wood describes his piece as being derived from “this medieval sense of comedy,” progressing “from the darker, more agitated textures and colors towards brighter and lighter ones: towards a positive affirmation of the work’s own world and logic.“

Written in three parts or “cantos,” following Dante’s model, Canto I, the opening movement is a sonata form in perpetual motion. Canto II opens slowly, followed by a contrasting fast section. Canto III, the composer writes, “alternates periods of statis tension and frenetic activity:”

Jeffrey Wood (b. 1954), originally from Winnetka, Illinois, began piano lessons at the age of seven. After attending the Interlochen Arts Academy, he attended the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where he studied composition under Richard Hoffmann. He pursued his graduate studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, New York, where he studied piano under Gilbert Kalish and composition under David Lewin, earning Master’s degrees in both piano performance and composition and a Ph.D. in composition. Dr. Wood’s compositions have been performed throughout the country and have received numerous awards including several from BMI, ASCAP, and the 1982 David S. Bates Memorial Prize. He was the highest prizewinner in the 1984 Stroud Festival International Composition Competition in Great Britain.

To reach the composer email  [email protected]