Faye-Ellen Silverman

Hollowed Refrains

Year: 1987

Duration (in minutes): 11'39;09'34;

Difficulty: High (professional)

Category: mixed instrument ensemble, mixed instrument trio, small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players

Instruments: any string, any woodwind, oboe, piano, violin

Publisher: Subito Music Corporation

Description: “Hollowed Refrains”, created while in residence at the Rockefeller Foundation Center in Bellagio, derives its structure from its title. The piece starts with empty, hollowed sounds – octaves and fifths. The fifths used in the opening and in other sections of the piece originate in the open strings of the violin (G, D, A, E). Slow, tonal sections alternate with faster, less-tonal ones. Material from the former is reinterpreted in the latter (e.g. the use of repeated tones and of octaves), which builds up and then dies down as the section is “hollowed” or emptied to form a refrain of mood and of material of the opening.
This alternation occurs three times. The third of these fast sections sums up the piece with references to the basic materials, including an “angry” use of the pitches of the opening violin strings in oboe double-trills and in loud, arpeggiated chords in the violin. The piece ends with a final refrain –¬ restating the repeated, solitary Gs of the opening.
The Great Lakes Performing Artist Associates commissioned this work for Michael Davis, Thomas Gallant, and Nelson Harper. It is dedicated to the memory of Paul Fromm, whose passing have left so many of us with the “hollowed” feeling which accompanies the loss of a friend.

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