Refrain is a completely exceptional work by Górecki, in which two contrasting techniques are combined: hocket the medieval technique of polyphonic music and dodecaphony the twelve-note twentieth-century technique. Refrain consists of three movements: slow-fast-slow. The essence of the whole composition is formed by mirror models and phrases, which as the very title indicates may be defined as ''refrains''. It is also characteristic that particular refrains are developed in the way similar to variations, adopting new melodic-rhythmic shapes each time. The whole composition is also marked by the motive c - d sharp - c and the harmonic idiom progressing in whole tones. Textural and dynamic contrasts, melodic lines enclosed within the ambitus of the minor third, slowly progressing harmonic schemes all these elements constitute an integrated and extremely original work. Refrain is one of those works, in which Górecki allowed himself to give vent to his passion, i.e. contemplation of the universe. According to the composer himself, it is a reflection of an imagined ''experience of flying at high altitude between the sea and the stratosphere''. It is also the first composition written by Górecki in response to a foreign commission and premiered abroad.
[Based on A. Thomas, Górecki, Kraków 1998, PWM]
- Language of edition: eng, pol
- Number of pages: 39
- Cover: softcover