Chamber Music of Irwin Bazelon
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Intense, exciting chamber works by the late Irwin Bazelon.

Irwin Bazelon died on August 2, 1995 at the age of 73. He composed nine symphonies and over 60 Orchestral, Chamber and instrumental pieces. Born in Evanston, Illinois, he graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor's and master's degree in music. After studying composition with Paul Hindemith at Yale briefly, he went to Mills College in Oakland, California with Darius Milhaud. From 1948 until his death, he lived in New York City and Sagaponack. His Long Island retreat was the perfect counterpoint for the tensions and hustle-bustle of urban life with which his rhythmically complex and often jazz-tinged music bristles. In his early years in New York, Bazelon supported himself by scoring documentaries, art films and theatrical productions. During the 1950's and 1960's he composed more than fifty scores of this kind, which proved to be an invaluable preparation for his Orchestral music. As a valedictory of sorts he wrote Knowing the Score: Notes on Film Music. Published in 1975, this book is widely used as a college text. As a guest composer Bazelon frequently lectured at leading universities and music schools throughout the United States and England. Young people were especially drawn to his feisty spirit and no-nonsense approach to earning a living by applying compositional talents to the commercial world without sacrificing integrity. A long-time horse racing enthusiast, one of his best known works, Churchill Downs (Chamber Concerto No. 2) is named for the home of the Kentucky Derby, and his ninth symphony (subtitled Sunday Silence for the winner of the 1989 Derby) is dedicated to the horse. Definitely an interesting man who gives us interesting music.
Irwin Bazelon, composer
Fairy Tale
Paul Dunkel, flute, Mitchell Estrin, clarinet, Dennis Smylie, bass clarinet, Jeffrey Lang, French horn, Neil Balm, trumpet, Jonathan Haas, percussion, John Van Buskirk, piano, Dorothy Lawson, cello, Jeff Carney, bass, Lois Martin, viola, Harold Farberman,

Irwin Bazelon, composer
Richard Rodney Bennett & Scott Dunn, pianos

Irwin Bazelon, composer
Neil Balm, Raymond Mase, trumpets, Jeffrey Lang, French horn, James Pugh, trombone, Marcus Rojas, tuba, Jonathan Haas, percussion

Irwin Bazelon, composer
John Van Buskirk, harpsichord

Irwin Bazelon, composer
Paul Dunkel, flute, Randall Wolfgang, oboe, Mitchell Estrin, clarinet, Dennis Smylie, bass clarinet, Marc Goldberg, bassoon, Jeffrey Lang, French horn, Neil Balm, Raymond Mase trumpets, James Pugh, trombone, Jonathan Haas, percussion, John Van Buskirk, piano

"Irwin Bazelon (1922-95) was an Illinois-born composer who became associated with New York City in his later life. His music has sharp contrasts of timbre and movement that often result in a hard-edged quality that one associates with urban styles. This shows up even in Fairy Tale, a relatively atmospheric work for a mixed Chamber group with the viola. Re-Percussions for two pianos is a shorter movement in a lively style. Cross-Currents pits a percussionist against a brass quintet, and Fusion combines all of the foregoing instruments in a busy but also mysterious and moody movement. The most unusual piece sonically is Vignette, a recently-discovered work for solo harpsichord written in 2975. The abstract quality to Bazelon's work for the unvaried sonority is a contrast to the emphasis he usually puts on sounds per se. This is an enjoyable program of music by a fine composer." (American Record Guide)
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