Irwin Bazelon

(1922 - 1995)
Irwin Bazelon 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 Composition Timpani and Percussion Requirements

A Quiet Piece for a Violent Time

No Timpani + 3 percussion
2 octaves crotales, glockenspiel, tubular bells, vibraphone, marimba, suspended cymbal, tam tam, triangle

Churchill Downs Concerto (Chamber Concerto No.2)

No Timpani + 3 percussion
Vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, bongos, 4 congas, timbales, timpani, tom tom, anvil, cowbell, suspended cymbal, claves, finger claves, maracas, wood block, drum kit, snare drum, tambourine, tenor drum, gourds

Propulsions - Percussion Ensemble

No Timpani + 7 percussion

1) xylophone, marimba, vibraphone, tubular bells, triangle, large cowbell, wood block x 2 (medium and piccolo), bell tree, suspended cymbal, anvil, metal plate (large), Japanese wood chimes, Chinese cymbal, maracas, snare drum x 2 (medium and piccolo)

2) Java hat gong, Japanese cup gongs x 3, Japanese bowl gongs, x 3, finger cymbals, ship's bell, triangle, bell tree, anvil (on steel), metal plate, claves, scratcher, cowbell (large), suspended cymbal, African thumb piano, piccolo wood block, African log drums x 2, temple bell, African talking drum, snare drum x 2 (medium and piccolo) tom tom x 2, tubular bells

3) tablas, bongos. timbales. orchestral bass drum, Philippine shell chimes, Japanese wood chimes, scratcher, finger cymbals, suspended cymba, tubular bells

4) triangle, suspended cymbal, cowbell (large), wood block x 2 (piccolo and medium), metal plate in water, 5 temple blocks, bongos, timbales, African log drum, snare drum x 2 (piccolo and medium), Chinese drum, tom tom x 2 (high and low), tenor drum, orchestral bass drum

5) triangle, suspended cymbal, bell tree, cowbell, African rattle, claves, maracas, scratcher, African log drum, wood block, temple blocks, anvil, metal plate, tuned bells, Java hat gong, ship's bell, gongs x 4, orchestral bass drum, tam tam

6) suspended cymbal, finger cymbals, African rattle, maracas, Philippine shell chimes, bass slide whistle, cricket-clickers, metal plate, wood block, snare drum, African talking drum, African log drum, tom tom, orchestral bass drum, 4 timpani

7) African rattle, claves, wood block, anvil, bongos, timbales, temple blocks, congas, cuica, metal plate, tam tam

Short Symphony (No.2) `Testament to a Big City'

Timpani + 4 percussion + celeste
Glockenspiel, gong, vibraphone, xylophone, bass tom tom, bongos, timbales, tom tom, snare drum, cowbell, suspended cymbal, triangle, maracas, 5 temple blocks, wood block, orchestral bass drum, snare drum, celeste

Symphony No.5

Timpani + 5 percussion
Glockenspiel, tubular bells, vibraphone, marimba, xylophone

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