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Bazelon, Irwin (Allen)

Bazelon, Irwin (Allen)

Bazelon, Irwin (Allen), American composer; b. Evanston, 111., June 4, 1922; d. N.Y., Aug. 2, 1995. He studied piano with Irving Harris and Magdalen Mess-mann, and composition with Leon Stein. After pursuing his education at De Paul Univ. in Chicago (B.A., 1944; M.A., 1945), he studied composition with Hindemith at Yale Univ., Milhaud at Mills Coll. in Oakland, Calif. (1946–48), and Bloch at the Univ. of Calif, at Berkeley (1947). In 1947 he settled in N.Y. He held fellowships at the MacDowell Colony (1948, 1950, 1951) and at Yaddo (1969). In 1974 he served as composer-in-residence of the Wolf Trap Farm Park in Vienna, Va. He publ. Knowing the Score: Notes on Film Music (1975). In his works, Bazelon made use of quaquaversal techniques, ranging from rudimentary triadic progressions to complex dodecaphonic structures infused with syncopated jazz rhythms.


ORCH. Adagio and Tugue for Strings (1947); Concerto Overture (1951; N.Y., March 21, 1965); Suite for Small Orch. (1953); syms.: Short Symphony: Testament to a Big City (1961; Washington, D.C., Dec. 4, 1962); No. 1 (1962; Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 26, 1963); No. 3 (1962); No. 4 (1965; 1st movement perf. as Dramatic Movement for Orchestra, Seattle, Feb. 21, 1966); No. 5 (1967; Indianapolis, May 8, 1970); No. 6 (1969; Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 17, 1970); No. 7, Ballet for Orchestra (1980); No. 8 for Strings (1986); No. 8 1/2 (1988); No. 9, Sunday Silence (1992); No. 10 for Narrator, Soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (1995; unfinished); Symphonie concertante for Clarinet, Trumpet, Marimba, and Orch. (1963; Williamston, Mass., April 26, 1985); Overture to Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew (Washington, D.C., May 1964); Excursion (1965; Kansas City, Mo., March 5, 1966); Dramatic Tanfare (1970); A Quiet Piece for a Violent Time (New Orleans, Oct. 28, 1975); Spirits of the Night (1976); De-Tonations for Brass Quintet and Orch. (1978; N.Y., April 3, 1979); Memories of a Winter Childhood (1981; Harrisburg, Pa., Dec. 5, 1989); Spires for Trumpet and Small Orch. (1981; Lille, Feb. 6, 1989); Tides for Clarinet and Small Orch. (1982); Tor Tuba with Strings Attached for Tuba and Strings (1982; also for Tuba and String Quartet); Piano Concerto, Trajectories (1985); Motivations for Trombone and Orch. (1986); Tourscore+ 2 for 4 Solo Percussionists and Orch. (1987; Houston, April 26, 1989); Midnight Music for Symphonic Wind Band (1990; Machester, England, Oct. 14, 1992); Prelude to Hart Crane’s The Bridge for Strings (1991); Entre Nous for Cello and Orch. (1992; N.Y., Feb. 6, 1994); Tire and Smoke for Timpani and Wind Band (1993; Aspen, Colo., July 4, 1994). CHAMBER: 3 string quartets (n.d., 1947, 1995); 5 Pieces for Cello and Piano (1952); Chamber Concerto No. 1 for Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Tuba, Violin, Piano, and Percussion (1956; N.Y., Jan. 20, 1957); Brass Quintet (1963; N.Y., March 22, 1964); Early American Suite for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, and Harpsichord or Piano (1965); Duo for Viola and Piano (1970); Churchill Downs Chamber Concerto (N.Y., Oct. 1970); Propulsions, percussion concerto for 7 Players (1974; Boston, April 26, 1976); Wind Quintet (N.Y., May 22, 1975); Concatenations for Viola and Percussion Quartet (1976; Boston, May 1, 1977); Double Crossings for Trumpet and Percussion (1976); Sound Dreams for Flute, Clarinet, Viola, Cello, Piano, and Percussion (Boston, Nov. 13, 1977); Triple Play for 2 Trombones and Percussion (1977; Sheffield, England, March 11, 1982); CrossCurrents for Brass Quintet and Percussion (1978; Cambridge, Mass., Jan. 16, 1981); 3 Men on a Dis-Course for Clarinet, Cello, and Percussion (1979; N.Y., April 9, 1989); Partnership for 5 Timpani and Marimba (N.Y., May 19, 1980); For Tuba with Strings Attached for Tuba and String Quartet (1982; N.Y., Jan. 10, 1985; also for Tuba and String Orch.); Quintessentials for Flute, Clarinet, Marimba, Percussion, and Brass (Baltimore, Nov. 3, 1983); Suite for Marimba (1983; N.Y., May 21, 1984); Fusions for Chamber Group (1983; Pittsburgh, Oct. 22, 1984); Fairy Tale for Viola and Chamber Ensemble (N.Y., Oct. 2, 1989); Alliances for Cello and Piano (1989); Bazz Ma Tazz for 8 Tenor Trombones, 4 Bass Trombones, and 6 Percussion (Boston, April 26, 1993). Piano: 3 sonatas (1947; 1949-52; 1953); Piano Suite for Young People (2 vols., 1951); Sonatina (1952); 5 Pieces (1952); Imprints (1978; N.Y., Feb. 10, 1981); Re-Percussions for 2 Pianos (1982; Akron, Ohio, Feb. 9, 1983); Sunday Silence (N.Y., Oct. 1, 1990). vocalPhenomena for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble (1972); Junctures for Soprano and Orch. (1979); Legends and Love Letters for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble (Washington, D.C., Nov. 5, 1988); Four...Parts of a World, song cycle for Soprano and Piano (1991). OTHER: Many documentary film scores.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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