Eric Ewazen (b. 1954) often uses traditional musical forms and finds inspiration in written texts and pictorial images to create a pieces profile: Shadowcatcher clearly fits this pattern. In the preface to his score for this work, the composer tells of the source of his inspiration and provides insight into the concertos formal devices: Edward Curtis, the great American photographer who traveled throughout the American West during the early decades of the twentieth century, took literally tens of thousands of photographs of native American Indians.
The New England Triptych is the work that comes to most minds when William Schumans name is mentioned. Schuman (19101992) shared Charles Ivess delight in American hymn tunes and music of the people. He was also a friend and colleague of the foremost twentieth-century proponent of the hymn and fuguing tune, Henry Cowell, from the 1930s onward. Given these influences, it is not surprising that he would put considerable effort into creating a fusion, as he put it, of the music of the eighteenth-century hymnodist, William Billings, with his own.
The Capriccio for Band of Mel Powell (19231998) occupies the stylistic middle ground of the composers first attempts to leave his jazz origins behind. The spirit of Hindemith and the neo-classical Stravinsky suffuses this concise, rhythmically ingratiating, and harmonically transparent piece.
All three works are CD premieres and represent a significant addition to the discography of music for concert band.