Buczynski's music of the late 1960s and early 1970s often leaned on satire or whimsy. The Zeroing In series included multi-media elements - spatial movement, mime, and spoken phrases. The short chamber opera From the Buczynski Book of the Living, to the composer's own libretto, poked fun at both R. Murray Schafer's From the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the droning sonorities of Stockhausen's Stimmung. While Quartet/74 continued somewhat in this vein, Buczynski has recognized Trio/74 and Lyric 1 as departures in the direction of greater lyricism, and of a less self-conscious relationship to the avant-garde. The Mass and other later works with texts (the String Quartet No. 3 with soprano, the Songs of War, the wedding cantata Resurrection II, the choral July Notebook) counter-balanced personal Catholic fervor with a naïve exuberance, exemplified in the scat-singing passages found in the latter two works. Similar juxtapositions of mood often mark his later purely instrumental pieces as well, for example the texturally adventurous Divertissement series.
An exceptionally prolific composer, Buczynski has been repeatedly commissioned by prominent Canadian artists such as Kubálek (Piano Concerto, Piano Sonata No. 3), William Aide (Suite One-Two-Three, Lyric 1), Joseph Macerollo ('Kind of Popular' Pieces, Divertissement No. 2, Litanies), and the Purcell String Quartet (Quartet No. 3, Quartet No. 4, Piano Quintet), and organizations such as NMC, ARRAYMUSIC, the Montreal International Music Competition, and the CBC.
Activities After 1990
Buczynski retired from the University of Toronto in 1999. He gave several piano recitals by 2004, often featuring his own works such as the 24 Preludes for Piano (The August Collection), and (with the soprano Lorna MacDonald) the song suite Part of Seven. Premieres of his compositions were given by the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra (Lyric VXI for strings), and the pianist Greg Oh. Buczynski's works were also introduced to Poland and Czechoslovakia. Macerollo recorded his Fantasy on Themes of the Past (Persuasion, CBC Musica Viva 1096, 2001); and Kubálek recorded The August Collection (Polkas, Etudes and Preludes, CBC Musica Viva 1059, 1999). Buczynski is an associate of the Canadian Music Centre.
Do Re Mi, children's opera (Lilly Barnes). 1967. Sop, tenor, bar, 2 actors, instr ensemble. Ms
From the Buczynski Book of the Living, chamber opera (Buczynski). 1972. Sop, tenor, clarinet, piano, percussion. Ms
Naked at the Opera, chamber opera (Tom Hendry). 1978. 2 soprano, 3 tenor, bar, bass, violin, viola, violoncello, accordion. Ms
Beztitula. 1964. Pf, orch. Ms
Four Arabesques and Dance. 1964. Fl, string orch. Ms
Three Thoughts for Orchestra. 1964. Ms
Triptych for Orchestra. 1964. Ms
Four Movements. 1969. Pf, string orch. Ms
Seven Miniatures for Orchestra. 1970. Ms. CBC SM-308 (CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra)
A Work for Dance. 1970. Cl, percussion, string orch. Ms
Zeroing In No. 2 'Distractions and Then'. 1971. Full orch. Ms
Zeroing In No. 4 'Innards and Outards'. 1972. Sop, piano, orch. Ms
Three against Many. 1973. Fl, clarinet, bassoon, orch. Ms
Zeroing In No. 3. 1973. Str quartet, orch. Ms
Ars Romantica. 1976. Chamb orch. Ms
Lyric for Piano and Orchestra. 1976. Ms
Rhapsody for two horns and string orchestra. 1976. Ms
Three Serenades. 1976. orch. Ms
Legends for String Orchestra. 1976. Ms
Psalm 51. 1977. Sop, alto, tenor bass, SATB, string orch, organ, percussion. Ms
Concerto. 1979. Pf, orch. Ms
Concerto. 1980. Vn, orch. Ms
Fantasy on Themes From the Past. 1980 (rev 1984). Acc, string orch. Ms
Prayer and Dance, 1982. Cl, string quartet, string orch. Ms
Symphony No. 1. 1986. Full orch. Ms
Lyric V. 1988. Ob, string orch. Ms
Lyric VII. 1991. Va, orch. Ms
4 learning pieces for string orch (1964-5). All Ms
Trio, Opus 4. 1954. Vn, violoncello, piano. Ms
Divertimento for Four Solo Instruments, Opus 15. 1957. Vn, violoncello, clarinet, bassoon. Ms. 1968. CBC SM-74/RCI 338 (Vancouver Symphony Chamb Players)
Elegy for Violin and Piano 'In Memoriam Kathleen Parlow.' 1963. Ms
Six Miniatures for String Quartet. 1963. Ms
Four Corners of Gregory. 1966. Guit. Ms
Milósc/Love (J. Beecroft). 1967. Sop, fl, piano. Ms
Trio/67. 1967. Mand, clarinet, violoncello (cb). Ms
Duo. 1974. Db, piano. Ms
Quartet /74. 1974. Fl, clarinet, violoncello, harpsichord. Ms
Sextet. 1974. Fl, clarinet, violin, violoncello, 2 percussion. Ms
Trio/74. 1974. Hp, bass clarinet, double-bass. Ms
Two Pieces for Woodwind Quintet. 1975. Ms
Olympics '76. 1976. Brass quintet. Ms. Music Gallery Editions MGE-34 (Composers Brass Group)
3 Serenades for chamber ensemble. 1976. Ms
The Tales of Nanabozho (D. Reid). 1976. Ww quintet, narrator. Ms
The First Symphony. 1977. Ms
Missa brevis. 1977. SATB, string quartet, brass quartet. Ms
Sonate Belsize. 1977. Solo accordion. Ms
Capricorn Suite. 1978. Guit. Ms
Resurrection II (Buczynski). 1980. Bar, clarinet, violin, viola, violoncello, accordion, percussion. Ms
... Winds... 1982. Fl (alto fl), violoncello, celesta, harpsichord, percussion. Ms
Cradle Song, Vocalise and Elegy (Blake, Donne). 1983. Bar, violin, piano. Ms
Piano Quintet. 1984. Pf, string quartet. Ms
Divertissement No.1. 1985, rev for orch 1987. Guit ensemble (orch). Ms
Gemini Quartet. 1986. Ob, violin, viola, violoncello. Ms
Divertissement No. 2. 1987. Hp, accordion, vibraphone. Ms
String Quartet No. 3 (Bible, Rilke). 1987. Sop, string quartet. Ms
Divertissement No. 3: Impressions and Memories. 1989. Perc quintet. Ms
Also 3 works for voice and piano (1954, 1955, 1966), three sonatas for violin and piano, violoncello and piano, and violin and violoncello (1979, 1982, 1983) and other works for various instr groupings. All manuscript
Aria and Toccata. 1963. Ms. CBC SM-162. See Discography.
Amorphus. 1964. Ms. CBC SM-162. See Discography.
Suite pour le piano 'One; Two; Three'. 1964. Ms. Marie Currie Sklodowska Presents CGA-654369. See Discography.
Ten Piano Pieces for Children. 1965. Ms. ('Happy' and 'Solitude') Dom S-69002 (Mould)
Sonata for piano 'Dzieki'. 1967. Ms. CBC SM-162. See Discography.
Eight Epigrams for Young Pianists (contains pieces from Seven Pieces for Piano, 1965). 1967. B & H 1969. ('Canon') Dom S-69002 (Mould).
Burlesque. 1970. 1 perf: piano, speaker, tape. Ms. CBC SM-270. See Discography
Three Piano Pieces. FH 1970
Zeroing In. 1971. 1 perf: piano, speaker, tape. Ms. CBC SM-270. See Discography.
Zeroing In No. 5 'Dictionary of Mannerisms.' 1972. Ms. Marie Currie Sklodowska Presents CGA-654369 (Book II). See Discography.
Twenty-Seven Pieces for a Twenty-Seven Minute Show. 1973. Ms. CBC SM270. See Discography.
Zeroing In - Zeroing Out. 1977. Pf, prepared tape. Ms
Monogram. 1978. Ms. Centrediscs CMC-0382 (Kubálek)
Lyric II. 1984. Ms. 1984. RCI 586 (Hung-Kuan Chen)
August Collection. 1987. 24 preludes. Ms
Mosaics. 1988. Ms
Piano Sonata No. 3 'Textures." 1991. Ms
Other works for piano and organ. All manuscript.
Voice and Choir
Mass with Outside Prayers. 1976. SATB, woodwind quintet. Ms
A Song Cycle: Songs of War (R. Aldington, W.H. Auden, et al). 1983. Ten, bar, piano. Ms
Three Choral Pieces (O. Wilde, A. Dobson, E. Waller). 1983. SATB. Ms
Flowers and Bouquets. 1987. SSAA. Ms
Remembrances of Latin Texts. 1988. SATB (boys' and men's choir). Ms
July Notebook (Buczynski). 1989. SATB. Ms
Author Michael Schulman, John Beckwith, Betty Nygaard King
Buczynski Burlesque; Zeroing In; Twenty-Seven Pieces for a Twenty-Seven Minute Show. 1974. CBC SM-270
Canadian Contemporary Keyboard Music: Buczynski - Pentland - Somers - Weinzweig - Tremblay. 1971. CBC SM-162
Buczynski Plays Chopin and Buczynski. 1973. Marie Currie Sklodowska Presents CGA-654369
See also Discography for Mary Morrison.
'Walter Buczynski,' CanComp, 33, Oct 1968
Such, Peter. Soundprints (Toronto 1972)
Schulman, M. 'Walter Buczynski, a composer whose music reflects his life,' CanComp, Dec 1975
Kieser, Karen. 'Buczynski: a rebel's road to tranquility,' Fugue, vol 1, May 1977
'Walter Buczynski: sabbatical symphony,' CanComp, 125, Nov 1977
Pincoe, Ruth. 'Buczynski, Walter,' Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed 17 Feb 2004)
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