Ernst Bacon: Fond Affection
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR890     Release Date: 2007-01-01
Janet Brown, soprano; Herbert Burtis, piano; William Sharp, baritone; Amy Burton, soprano; John Musto, piano; Ronald Copes, violin; Alan Feinberg, piano


Ernst Bacon (b Chicago, IL, 26 May 1898; d Orinda, CA, 16 March 1990) was one of that pioneering generation of composers, along with Thomson, Copland, Harris, and others, who found a voice for American music. Born in Chicago, his Austrian mother gave him a love of song and an early start on the piano. Although his varied career included appearances as pianist and conductor, along with teaching and directing positions, his deepest preoccupation was always composing. His musical awards included a Pulitzer Fellowship in 1932 for his Symphony in D Minor and three Guggenheim Fellowships. As a composer, Bacon belonged to no “school” and followed no fads. He was largely self-taught in composition, except for two years study with Karl Weigl in Vienna in the early ‘20s. While there, he experienced the depression of post-war Europe first hand and concluded that the European avant-garde move- ment, reflecting the pessimism of that era and region, was not appropriate to America. Returning to Chicago, he set out to write music that expressed the vitality and affirmation of our own country.

At the age of nineteen, while majoring in mathematics at Northwestern University, Bacon wrote a complex treatise exploring all possible harmonies, which was published by the Open Court Publishing Company (“Our Musical Idiom,” The Monist, October 1917). However, when he began to compose music in his twenties, he rejected a cerebral approach, taking the position that music is an art, not a science. He felt that its source should be intuitive and imaginative, rather than abstract and analytical.

From his first job as opera coach at the Eastman School in the mid ‘20s, he went on to receive a master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and to teach at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under Bloch. During the ‘30s he was director of the WPA Federal Music Project and Orchestra in San Francisco and was a founder of the Carmel Bach Festival. From 1938 to 1945 he headed the School of Music at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where he established the New Spartanburg Music Festival. At Syracuse University, he was director of the School of Music from 1945 to 1947 and composer-in-residence and professor of piano until his retirement in 1963.


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

Various Artists

Ernst Bacon: Fond Affection

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

Is there such a thing as day?
Ernst Bacon
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My river runs to thee
Ernst Bacon
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When roses cease to bloom dear
Ernst Bacon
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Schilflied
Ernst Bacon
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The Red Rose
Ernst Bacon
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Gentle Greeting
Ernst Bacon
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Fond Affection
Ernst Bacon
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The Commonplace
Ernst Bacon
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Grand Is the Seen
Ernst Bacon
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Lingering Last Drops
Ernst Bacon
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The Last Invocation
Ernst Bacon
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The Divine Ship
Ernst Bacon
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Omaha
Ernst Bacon
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It's coming - the postponeless Creature
Ernst Bacon
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How still the bells
Ernst Bacon
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Farewell to a name and a number
Ernst Bacon
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Brady
Ernst Bacon
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It's all I have to bring
Ernst Bacon
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Velvet People
Ernst Bacon
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The Bat
Ernst Bacon
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Wild Nights
Ernst Bacon
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The Lamb
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Little Boy
Ernst Bacon
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Song of Snow-white Heads
Ernst Bacon
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A Brighter Morning
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Sonata for Violin & Piano: I. With Dignity
Ernst Bacon
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Sonata for Violin & Piano: II. Allegretto
Ernst Bacon
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Sonata for Violin & Piano: III. Lento
Ernst Bacon
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Sonata for Violin & Piano: IV. Allegro Moderato
Ernst Bacon
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