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Yehudi Wyner

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Fragments from Antiquity (1978)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Soloists and Orchestra
Year Composed
25 Minutes
Programme Note
Yehudi Wyner Fragments from Antiquity (1978)

When conductor Jonathan McPhee inquired about having the Lexington Symphony perform Yehudi Wyner’s “Fragments From Antiquity,’’ Wyner used the opportunity to give his 1978-81 song cycle a revision, which McPhee and the Symphony, with soprano Dominique Labelle, premiered on Saturday. It added another temporal point to the work’s variegated web of ancient texts, vintage musical styles, and contemporary technique. Wyner’s modernist methods reverse-engineer stylistic reminiscence; the main musical reference point is the twilight of Romanticism. The first three movements straddled the concentrated unease of early-20th-century decadence and the tentative fluidity of early atonality; the opening, a setting of “A Night of Spring River and Flower Moon’’ (by the Sui dynasty poet emperor and tyrant Yang Kuang) distilled that crossroads down to a few cryptic chords recalling Schoenberg’s first forays beyond it.
Matthew Guerrieri, Boston Globe,07/02/2011
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