Midnight Music

From Wind Repertory Project
Irwin Bazelon

Irwin Bazelon

General Info

Year: 1992
Duration: c. 20:40
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Novello, through Wise Music Classical
Cost: Score and Parts - $63.95


1. Moondream Escapade – 8:35
2. Other Voices – 5:05
3. Dances of the Spirits – 6:55


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Midnight Music was commissioned by the Royal Northern College of Music School of Wind and Percussion and was conceived as a tribute to the composer's New York colleague Richard Rodney Bennett and as a companion piece or a foil for Bennett's Morning Music. This is a city-dweller’s night – febrile, mysterious or menacing, shot through with flashes of tense or languorous gaiety. Atonal, splintered, jagged; the rhythms are dislocated; the forms continuously evolve from tiny fragments; instrumental timbres – the high notes, sometimes with a glissando, of the Eb clarinet in the first movement, say – as often acting as thematic referents, as do motifs. Bazelon has a superb ear for sonorities, for the use of mutes, for the extremes of register, high and low. Behind this expressionist exploration of nervous states fused with sound-pictures of the New York night and half-heard jazz there stand the Schoenberg of Erwartung and of the Lichtspielszene, that adoptive American, Varèse, with his insistently dissonant harmonies; and further back, the Ives of Central Park in the Dark.

The composer writes:

It was my attempt to conjure up all the possibilities implicit in the title Midnight Music. Part I evokes a wild dream sequence. Part II explores the mysterious element, and Part III is an all-out dance of ghosts. Jazz elements are contained in my work not formally but rather in the spirit of the phrasing and dynamics. My music is not descriptive but evocative. I tried to use the different choirs of instruments in the symphonic wind band (brass, winds, saxophones and percussion) both as protagonists and antagonists, sometimes playing with the orchestra and sometimes against it. Prominence of musical line is determined by dynamics, impact accents, phrasing, rhythmic propulsion, colour and contrast.

- Program Note by Timothy Reynish and Michael Graubert


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Royal Northern College of Music Wind Ensemble (Timothy Reynish, conductor) – 14 October 1992 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer