Title

Frost Fire

I. Bright and Fast

II. Gentle and Mysterious

III. Tense and Dramatic

Composed

1990

Composer

Eric Ewazen (b. 1954)

Composer Information

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.

 

Publisher

Southern Music Co.

Duration

15:00

Difficulty

3

Ranking Position

18

Discography

Chamber Music of Eric Ewazen by American Brass Quintet, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, William Sharp: Summit Records, 2012.

Brass on Parade by Custom Brass Quintet: CAFUA, 2003.

 

Types of Instruments/Mutes

The bass part was originally intended for bass trombone, as that was the makeup of the American Brass Quintet. All instruments require mutes.

 

Final Considerations

The brass chamber music of Eric Ewazen has established a significant and ongoing presence on recordings and in the concert halls throughout the world, it is no surprise that two of his pieces made it to this guide. The sonorities and rhythms of his works have developed an immediate identity that is easily recognizable and enjoyed by both performs and listeners. A little bit more technically demanding than Colchester Fantasy, this is a wonderful piece that will have both the performers and the audience enjoying themselves immensely, it would work great as a recital closer. The composer has supplied the following program notes: “Frost Fire was gratefully dedicated to the American Brass Quintet in honor of their 30th anniversary. Over these past nineteen years, it has been performed worldwide and has been recorded on the Well-Tempered label. It was commissioned by them in 1989 with support from the Jerome Foundation. The work, based on traditional musical forms and models, is in three movements. The first movement, marked Bright and Fast, is a joyous celebration of sonorous chords, playful motives, and rhythmic gestures.  It is in a strict sonata-allegro form with a clearly defined and classically proportioned exposition-development-recapitulation framed by complimentary introduction and coda sections. The second movement, marked Gentle and Mysterious, has a waltz-like feel to it.  In a ternary (A-B-A) form, the outer sections consist of ribbons of melodies being gently passed from instrument to instrument. The middle section is a stately fugue that builds in intensity, volume and rich-sounding resonance. The final movement, Tense and Dramatic, brings back material from the first movement, but sets it in a much more turbulent and frenetic environment. Although this movement is based on the skeletal outlines of a sonata-allegro form, it is much freer and more erratic, with shifting meters and contrasting, interpolated passages, ultimately leading the way to a heroic and dynamic conclusion.”

The composer has supplied the following program notes: “Frost Fire was gratefully dedicated to the American Brass Quintet in honor of their 30th anniversary.  Over these past nineteen years, it has been performed worldwide and has been recorded on the Well-Tempered label.  It was commissioned by them in 1989 with support from the Jerome Foundation.  The work, based on traditional musical forms and models, is in three movements. The first movement, marked Bright and Fast, is a joyous celebration of sonorous chords, playful motives, and rhythmic gestures.  It is in a strict sonata-allegro form with a clearly defined and classically proportioned exposition-development-recapitulation framed by complimentary introduction and coda sections.The second movement, marked Gentle and Mysterious, has a waltz-like feel to it.  In a ternary (A-B-A) form, the outer sections consist of ribbons of melodies being gently passed from instrument to instrument.  The middle section is a stately fugue that builds in intensity, volume and rich-sounding resonance.The final movement, Tense and Dramatic, brings back material from the first movement, but sets it in a much more turbulent and frenetic environment.  Although this movement is based on the skeletal outlines of a sonata-allegro form, it is much freer and more erratic, with shifting meters and contrasting, interpolated passages, ultimately leading the way to a heroic and dynamic conclusion.”

©2020 BY NAIRAM SIMOES