Yehudi Wyner

Wyner: On This Most Voluptuous Night

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Yehudi Wyner is a composer whose finely crafted music bespeaks learning without adherence to dogma, always seeming to follow the dictates of a more immediate emotional impulse. This is clearly felt in the title work, a song cycle based on poems of William Carlos Williams. Its style incorporates, by turns, expressionistic lushness, serialist austerity, breezy pop and jazz-tinged informality, and the frank tonality of the late 20th century, all somehow without sounding like a hodge-podge. 'Brandeis Sunday,' a brief work for string quartet, traverses the span of modern tonality even more remarkably, with a somber (Philip) Glass-like opening that gazes toward Berg's Vienna before getting jazzy and then retreating in waves of minimalistic ostinati. The three-movement String Quartet is an altogether harsher affair, speaking in the atonal voice one also hears in earlier Wyner works such as the 'Informal Pieces' or 'Dances of Atonement' for violin and piano.

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