The Boston Musical Intelligencer, December 8, 2015 – “The 85-years-old Yehudi Wyner, recently recovered from a hospital stay, was on hand and definitely in youthful spirits to hear his West of the Moon for six instruments, an equally spirited work composed just two years ago. Before this Boston premiere, Laurence Lesser mentioned a commission for the Cygnus Ensemble and a connection to Scandinavian myths (perhaps Hans Christian Andersen’s Ugly Duckling, reborn as a swan?). The more obvious connections were with Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire on the one hand, and the Serenade on the other, especially for the abundance of repeated notes. The other performers were Paul Biss, violin, of the NEC faculty, and four alumnae/i: Sooyun Kim, flute; Amanda Hardy, oboe; Eden MacAdam-Somer, mandolin; and Adam Levin, guitar. West of the Moon runs continuously in three broad sections, fast-slow-fast, with the first fast section containing a short slow episode. All of these alternated well-blended ensembles with broadly melodic passages for paired instruments—a melody in octaves for violin and cello, or with violin-mandolin matching guitar-cello. Unlike the heroic guitar, the high-register mandolin was hard to hear much of the time. The ‘slow movement’ featured expressive guitar chords with a distinct suggestion of jazz harmony; the guitar even had the last word in the piece, with a prominent dominant-thirteenth chord.”
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