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Yehudi Wyner

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Sonnet: In the Arms of Sleep (2014)
Text Writer
Elizabeth Bishop
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Solo Voice(s) and up to 6 players
Year Composed
10 Minutes
S, 2Mz
Programme Note
Yehudi Wyner Sonnet: In the Arms of Sleep (2014)
Composer note:
This beautiful early sonnet by Elizabeth Bishop is so vividly musical that I was drawn to it at once. It projects hunger for music, for melody, for rhythm, but even more, it suggests that music can calm (severe) disturbance and alleviate pain. I set the poem for soprano — specifically for Lucy Shelton — along with two female voices who embellish and comment on the soprano's line. The voices are embedded in an ensemble of flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, and harp. The atmosphere of the composition is rather meditative.

— Yehudi Wyner

Sample Pages

But the piece was a miracle—Yehudi Wyner’s Sonnet: In the Arms of Sleep, the 86-year-old composer’s setting of a poem Elizabeth Bishop wrote when she was a precocious 17-year-old high school student. In her “Sonnet,” the ambitious young poet, infatuated with the alliterative verse of Gerard Manly Hopkins, yearns for music... This new work was the most moving in the entire festival.
Lloyd Schwartz, The Berkshire review for the Arts,17/08/2015
Yehudi Wyner's Sonnet: In the Arms of Sleep was a wise, arresting setting of an Elizabeth Bishop poem (sung by Lucy Shelton), one that heeds the call of its own text, which begins "I am in need of music that would flow/ Over my fretful, feeling fingertips."
Jeremy Eichler, Boston Globe,27/07/2015
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