Periodically Walter-Simmons.com will feature
a particular composer whose music we think you will enjoy. There
will be a brief description, a sample of his work, and some links
that will help you pursue further information. You may also search
our database for my writings on the composer. If you have any
questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.
Previous Featured Composer: Lee Hoiby
composer we are currently featuring is Robert Muczynski. Born
in Chicago in 1929, Muczynski has lived for more than forty years
in Tucson, where he was composer-in-residence at the University of Arizona.
Muczynski has concentrated largely on music for piano solo and
for small chamber combinations. Although his name rarely appears in
discussions of major contemporary composers, many of his works--especially
those for flute, clarinet, saxophone, woodwind quintet, and piano solo--are
performed regularly all over the world.
music is earnest and unpretentious in character. His pieces tend to
be short because his music is pure substance--nothing but the aesthetic
basics: distinctive motifs woven into clear, transparent textures, developed
logically but imaginatively into concise, satisfying, compelling formal
entities. The result is a friendly modernism--tonal but not reactionary,
peppered with light dissonance and energetic asymmetries of rhythm--always
expertly tailored to highlight the artistry of the performer in a manner
idiomatic to the featured instrument.
fine pianist, Muczynski has recorded much of his own music on
two CDs recently issued by Laurel. I selected this set as one of my
"Five Picks" for 2001.
Listen to a
from Muczynski's Fantasy Trio for Clarinet,
Cello & Piano, Op. 26.
For a streaming
version, click here.
(You may need to download RealOne or Winamp.)