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Martin Bresnick has been a leading figure in the education of an entire generation of American musicians, having served as spiritual advisor to many of our most innovative and active composers, including Michael Torke and Evan Ziporyn as well as Bang on a Can's own Artistic Directors Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe. As a composer's composer, his music - subtle and intelligent, thoughtful and meticulously crafted - has been heard around the world, and with a flurry of activity in 2006 (including this major CD/DVD release, his 60th Birthday Celebration, and his Carnegie Hall concerts on December 5 with the Bang on a Can All-Stars and his own on December 9), The Essential Martin Bresnick aims to spread his name to a new and larger listening public.
The Essential Martin Bresnick contains performances of his greatest works by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, Flux Quartet, and Jupiter Trio. The DVD contains a new work, "For the Sexes: The Gates of Paradise," performed by Bang on a Can All-Star pianist Lisa Moore and featuring animated images from Puppetsweat Theater. This remarkable video project, for piano with projections of deeply affecting and intensely bright drawings by the English poet William Blake, includes a video essay on the work by legendary Yale professor and best-selling author Harold Bloom, who calls Moore's performance "inspired, precise, subtly modulated and eloquent."