I. The Rose and Crown
II. The Marquis of Granby
III. The Dragoon
IV. The Red Lion
Eric Ewazen (b .1954)
Eric Ewazen was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Receiving a B.M. At the Eastman School of Music, and M.M. and D.M.A. degrees from The Juilliard School, his teachers include Milton Babbitt, Samuel Adler, Warren Benson, Joseph Schwantner and Gunther Schuller. As an accomplished composer his output includes works for orchestra, piano, voice, chamber orchestra, chamber works, et al. He is a recipient of numerous composition awards and prizes. His works have been commissioned and performed by many soloists, chamber ensembles and orchestras in the U.S. and overseas. Currently on the faculty of The Juilliard School (since 1980) and lecturer for the New york Philharmonic’s Musical Encounters Series, he has also served on the faculties of the Hebrew Arts School and the Lincoln Center Institute. He served as Vice President of the League of Composers - International Society of Contemporary Music from 1982-1989.
Southern Music Co.
New American Brass by American Brass Quintet: Summit Records, 1992.
Windswept by US Air Force Heartland of America Band: Altissimo! 2007.
Street Song by Center City Brass Quintet: Chandos, 2004.
Types of Instruments/Mutes
Originally written for Bass trombone as the bass voice with tuba optional
Ewazen’s music is familiar to most brass players, and Colchester Fantasy definitely follows his style of composition. Although this is a very-tuneful, well crafted, exciting, and accessible piece for audiences; it poses some rhythmic and ensemble challenges, especially the third movement with its recurring eighth note ostinato. This is a piece that will challenge the quintet, but also give each player, and the audience, great pleasure in the process.
The composer has supplied the following program notes: “Colchester Fantasy was written for the American Brass Quintet while I was teaching at the Estherwood Music Festival, held in Colchester, England during the summer of 1987. Colchester is the oldest recorded town in Britain. It has an old Roman wall, a massive Norman castle, picturesque homes and churches and, as in all decent English towns, colorful old pubs. Each movement in this work is named after an old Colchester pub. The first movement, “The Rose and Crown,” is filled with bright, sonorous chords, energetic rhythmic patterns, and constantly changing and fluctuating motives. The second movement “The Marquis of Granby” (a name which I associated with a distant, faded aristocracy) is a stately, chorale-like movement with somber, plaintive themes. The third movement “The Dragoon” brings forth the sounds of battle with dissonant, clashing harmonies, agitated rhythms and fragmented melodies. To close the work, the fourth movement, “The Red Lion” (a name with its intimations of royalty and nobility) is a resonant fugue, propelled forward with motoric motion, and a rapid, spinning fugue theme. These old English pubs of Colchester were a fine source of inspiration. Their names brought to my mind images of ancient and historical traditions, and impressions of the grandeur and majesty of time past. The beer was good, too!”