Opus 64

Michael Parker
Composition Date: 2014
Duration: 00:01:15
Genre: Keyboard, Piano, One Keyboard, Two Hands


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Piano
Click here to download full work (10.91 Mb - Not printable)

Programme Note:
Refug(u)e was written as part of an ongoing project initiated by pianist Barbara Pritchard: “’Variations’ is a set of miniatures for solo piano…They are based (or not) on the composers’ reactions to the following excerpt from Maggie Helwig’s poem ‘The Other Goldberg Variations” (in Talking Prophet Blues): The piano is not the end, but the means, the mediator of body and music. The body is not the beginning, but must do for the moment. The music is not the end. The title of the work is a combination of the words “refuge” and “re-fugue.” Whenever I am in need of spiritual restoration I always turn to the music of Bach as my refuge. In form, the piece is a fugue, but is also a reworking of material from the original Goldberg Variations: hence a “re-fugue.” The first two bars of the Aria from the Goldberg Variations become the subject of the fugue. However, instead of developing this melody, I chose to combine the fugue subject with exact quotes from some of the variations in the Bach original (specifically Variations 1, 8, 17, 20, 23). There is a cadenza over (and under) lengthy trills in the middle of the piece and the work ends with a dramatic coda. For Refug(u)e, I was especially drawn to two phrases in the Helwig poem. I interpreted the phrases “the piano is not the end…the music is not the end” to mean that the music never stops. I have therefore ended Refug(u)e in such a way as to suggest that the fugue is continuing even though the pianist has stopped playing.

Premiere Information:
20 Jan 2015, St. Lawrence Centre, Toronto
Barbara Pritchard, Piano


  • Call Number:
  • MI 2110 P242re
  • Genre:
  • Keyboard, Piano, One Keyboard, Two Hands
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • August 25, 2016
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • Score (landscape)
    4 Pages
    Height: 39 cm
    Width: 22 cm
  • Additional Information:

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Refug(u)e Opus 64: Score
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Refug(u)e Opus 64 by Michael Parker (Score)
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Refug(u)e Opus 64
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