Friday, January 20, 2012

CCC 014 - Eric Ewazen

The Consonant Classical Challenge continues with American composer Eric Ewazen. Ewazen's best known for his chamber music, particularly his compositions for brass. His work, "Daimond World" proved to be a big hit (in the classical music sense of the word) with the Ahn Trio.

While Ewazen uses the language of popular music (rock, jazz, pop) he's still very much a classical composer. His catalog is rich with innovative chamber works, as well as a number of concertos for solo instruments that challenge the solo performer.

A better example of Ewazen's style can be found in his "Philharmonic Fanfare." Its gestures are a little more classical-mainstream, although as you'll hear, Ewazen's not just playing it safe. The work has an authentic energy to it that makes the perfect work to open a concert.

Unfortunately, there aren't many examples of Ewazen's orchestral music available online (in fact, I only found this one video). But he's written a substantial amount for orchestra. Here's the slow movement of his violin concerto. Surely some violinist would be interested in performing it instead of the Bruch first concerto (again)...

In my opinion, Ewazen's music is perfectly balanced between two groups of potential listeners. His incorporation of the general musical language found in other genres makes his music relevant to younger audiences. At the same time, his straight-forward and accessible classical style should appeal to older, more conservative audiences. All they have to do is listen.

Recommended Recordings: 

Orchestral Music & Concertos by Eric Ewazen

Chamber Music by Eric Ewazen

Ahn Trio: Ahn-Plugged

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