Works for Orchestra
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For the adventurous.

Since the death of the American composer Irwin Bazelon in August 1995, there has been a marked increase in interest in his music. Three of his most representative works are included on this recording. "Spires" was composed in 1981. It was not premiered however, until February 6, 1989 by the Orchestre National de Lille with Harold Farberman conducting. The work is not a formal concerto for trumpet and orchestra but rather an orchestral composition with a large solo trumpet part including a written jazz-scat section against orchestral forces. "Trajectories" for solo piano with orchestra was composed in 1985. In this concerto, it was the composer's intention to avoid some of the 19th century mannerisms of solo instrumental works with orchestra, and, in this context avoid the traditional confrontation between piano and orchestra. The listener will also hear that the composer has attempted to exclude extensive virtuoso octave passages for the piano and to eliminate rapid arpeggios up and down the piano keyboard. About his work "Legends and Love Letters" the composer writes: "I have selected five Imagist poems of Hart Crane (c. 1920) that reflect this esteemed American poet's lyricism and nostalgic sentiment. It was my intention to capture in my music these essential elements, in addition to the bold dramatic statements that represent the contrasting counterpoint inherent in Hart Crane's poetry. In these pieces, I conceived the soprano part as a narrator's voice, singing the poet's lines through a small ensemble background, but always maintaining a soloist's position of dominance. Hart Crane's eloquent lyrical voice is primary; it must be allowed to occupy center stage."
Contents:
Irwin Bazelon, composer
Spires
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Maurice Murphy, trumpet, Harold Farberman, conductor


Irwin Bazelon, composer
Legends and Love Letters
Collage New Music Ensemble, Joan Heller, soprano, Charles Fussell, conductor


Irwin Bazelon, composer
Trajectories
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Wanda Maximilien, piano, Harold Farberman, conductor

Review:
"Irwin Bazelon...has never wavered in his allegiance to a harsh, jagged modified-Schoenbergian idiom. No wisps of neo-romantic nostalgia have infiltrated his recent scores which, if anything, sound even more uncompromisingly taut, rebarbative, disjunctive, and emotionally off-putting than ever. This pupil of Milhaud has always felt comfortable with a high level of dissonance - it is his natural language...If Bazelon remains terra incognita for you, then this release is a fairly good place to make his acquaintance: just be prepared for a possibly protracted and arduous period of exploration and accommodation. An important showcase for one of our most important, if difficult, composers." (Fanfare)
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