• Yehudi Wyner
  • Refrain (2011)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)
  • pf
  • 14 min

Programme Note

Composer Note:

Refrain, composed late in 2011, was commissioned by the master virtuoso Ilya Itin. It received its first performance at Princeton University on July 13th, 2012 as part of the Golansky Festival. Itin was the pianist.

To a large extent the piece was designed for him, with long stretches of rhapsodic music, clear textures, rich, inflective harmony, and episodes of violent drama and challenging technical brilliance.

While conceived as a through-composed organism suggesting an elaborate improvisation, a recurrent refrain—subtly varied—articulates the structure just as a series of landmarks might punctuate a voyage. For the most part the refrains are characterized by an unearthly calm, a sense of infinite space and time.

As the composition begins to wind down, the music simplifies and recalls some dimly remembered popular music, here transformed and dissolved. The final refrain, too, undergoes a radical transformation as the piece comes to an end.

— Yehudi Wyner