Eric Ewazen (1956, American)

Judging from the number of recordings of his works, Eric Ewazen seems to be a very popular composer, especially when it comes to writing for the winds and brass. Listening to A duet for our time and Concertino for bass trombone and trombone choir, the two pieces played by the Dutch New Trombone Collective on Etcetera’s 3-CD collection, KTC 1355, I understand why: the music is safe, undaring, tonal, sounding like it could have been composed 30 or 50 years earlier at the Eastman School of Music (and it’s only after writing this that I saw that Ewazen had been a student of Warren Benson and Eugene Kurtz at Eastman – but also of Milton Babbitt, Gunther Schuller, Samuel Adler and Joseph Schwantner – the influence of Eastman seems to have been stronger), agreeable and immediately forgettable because nothing particularly original or inventive stands out. I won’t give up on Ewazen – but I now feel less urge to explore.

Comments are welcome