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Name of Work

Wilson, Richard (1941-)
Affirmations

Movements:
I. Insistent
II. Playful
III. Doleful

Performances:


May 21, 2007



Jennifer Gunn, Flute
Larry Combs, Clarinet
Katinka Kleijn, Cello
Richard Wilson, Piano
Jasmine Lin, Violin

WILSON-Affirmations

Composed in 1990

My beleaguered friends, all too aware of a downcast and woebegone outlook, will appreciate the struggle involved for me in writing a piece entitled Affirmations. This is the music of someone whose chromatic style runs counter to current trends, who was approaching the age of fifty certain that mental and physical decline wait just around the corner, who lost his father – only remaining parent – in the course of writing this piece and thus became, overnight, the older generation. What is there, amidst this graying obscurity, to affirm?

I am as enchanted with non-tonal sonorities as when I first heard Boulez’s music forty years ago. Unlike Boulez, however, I believe that the differentiation of thematic material and its recurrence, modified to varying degrees, provide necessary interest and coherence. I affirm a kind of music that one can follow and remember. And I want it to have line and pulse – the proverbial song and dance.

In the present case, the first movement is declamatory; the second, ironic; the third, wistful. I have sought to bring the disparate timbres together in an uneasy rapport.

Program Notes by Richard Wilson

Performance Date: May 21, 2007



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