Arnold Rosner: Orchestral Music

(9 customer reviews)

Catalogue No: TOCC0368
EAN/UPC: 5060113443687
Release Date: 2016-06-01
Composer: Arnold Rosner
Artists: David Amos, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Riegert, Peter Vinograde

The musical language of the New York-based Arnold Rosner (1945–2013) clothes the modal harmony and rhythm of pre-Baroque polyphony in rich Romantic colours, producing a style that is instantly recognisable and immediately appealing. The piano concerto which opens this album reveals that his personality was present from the start: although it was written before he had any formal training in composition, its confidence and individuality are striking. The other works here show the range of Rosner’s music, from his fondness for Elizabethan dance and his exploration of symphonic minimalism to an identification with his Jewish roots, in a harrowing setting for speaker and orchestra of extracts from the diary of the leader of the Warsaw Ghetto.

Peter Vinograde, piano
Peter Riegert, speaker
London Philharmonic Orchestra
David Amos, conductor

9 reviews for Arnold Rosner: Orchestral Music

  1. :

    This is really special. I have been a fan of Arnold Rosner’s music for some years and therefore bought this CD as soon as it came out. The big “hit” here is the Second Piano Concerto, which I cannot keep off my CD player. It is full of marvellous, unforgettable music. It ought to be top of the classical charts. The other works are also very fine. I am not normally very fond of works with narrator, but From the Diaries of Adam Czerniakow is very powerful, if grim, telling the harrowing story of the Warsaw Ghetto (which I visited some years ago, so it had particular meaning). The music is strong and, as always with Rosner, memorable. I shall play this CD frequently. Please can we have some more Rosner?

  2. :

    ‘FANFARE WANT LIST: Each of the composers on my Want List this year is identifiable by a wholly personal musical vision that makes him stand out from the prevailing aesthetic of his place and time. This is a source of fascination for listeners who admire these composers. … So it is a particular thrill to have come across five recordings this year of top-quality repertoire urgently in need of wider attention, performed with first rate sensitivity and finesse. … Arnold Rosner’s harmonic palette was an extension of pre-Baroque contrapuntal techniques. But his expressive drive and instrumental palette was thoroughly contemporary. This most recent recording of his music is possibly the best introduction to Rosner available. The four pieces on it span 25 years of his career and run the gamut from the rather light-hearted Elizabethan-flavored Pastoral Dances to Rosner’s deeply moving and appropriately severe setting of excerpts from Adam Czerniaków’s diaries. Rosner’s Piano Concerto No. 2 is among his most immediately appealing works, while Gematria shows him in a meditative, mystical mode.’

    —Myron Silberstein, Fanfare, November/December 2016

  3. :

    ‘FANFARE WANT LIST: The Toccata Classics release of orchestral music by Arnold Rosner, beautifully performed by conductor David Amos and the London Philharmonic, only reaffirms that the neglect this brilliantly inventive and thoroughly original composer suffered during his lifetime was a true musical tragedy.’

    —Merlin Patterson, Fanfare, November/December 2016

  4. :

    ‘The most remarkable work to my mind is probably the Piano Concerto No. 2 (1965)… For an untutored composer to achieve a work so full of raw power, melody, and atmosphere is rare in music history, but the story becomes more astonishing because at the tender age of 20, Rosner had already found his voice… Toccata continues its valuable service unearthing composers and scores that would otherwise be neglected, and in this case Rosner gets the royal treatment with the London Philharmonic’s world-class playing. In the Piano Concerto soloist Peter Vinograde isn’t faced with virtuosic demands; until the Presto finale, the writing isn’t especially pianistic. But Vinograde is attuned to the heartfelt emotions of a self-taught composer of unusual gifts. … Amos’s conducting mirrors his loving advocacy of these pieces. All told, this is a winning release, down to the informative program notes and the inclusion of the excerpts from Czerniaków’s diary. Neo-Romanticism surges forward.’

    —Huntley Dent, Fanfare, November/December 2016

  5. :

    ‘The more of Rosner’s music one hears, the more one learns that he has his own unique sound. Some of that is because of his interest in modal harmonies and the polyphony found in early music. But he also reveals a slight jazz influence (particularly noticeable in the outer movements of his Piano Concerto here). Most importantly, there is an emotional truth in his compositions. It never sounds like empty effects, nor is it solely written to entertain. While he never minimizes the value of entertainment, neither does Rosner shrink from its power to move, to stir deeper emotions. … The performances and recording quality are first-rate. As indicated above, the accompanying notes are extremely insightful and informative. Strongly recommended.’

    —Henry Fogel, Fanfare, November/December 2016

  6. :

    ‘Rosner confirmed my belief in just how much mileage one can discover in modern works that resort to modalism, independent polyphony, and transformative, non-developmental musical structures. … It [Gematria] is one of the most brilliant and clever compositions I’ve encountered in a long time, not hurt in the slightest by the composer’s gift for colorful orchestration displayed here at its fullest. … Peter Vinograde is an enthusiastic advocate for the Piano Concerto, and Amos leads with distinction. He clarifies textures without slowing the music and losing its pulse, but instead phrases with care. In short, this is a fine release. It shows many sides of a composer whose work really should be far, far better known, performed by musicians who bring out all its qualities. Top marks all around. This one goes on my Want List. Now, will you please buy this so Toccata Classics can turn what is apparently a singleton into a series?’

    —Barry Brenesal, Fanfare, November/December 2016

  7. :

    ‘It is [Gematria] an extremely impressive piece.

    Effects are achieved, [in From the Diaries of Adam Czerniaków] as ever in Rosner’s case, by restraint rather than chest-beating. Sound quality and performances are vivid. […]

    This is a key addition to the Rosner discography.’

    —Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International

  8. :

    ‘It is with the final work on the CD that we can really appreciate the unique power of Rosner’s writing. This is a substantial piece where the progressive evolution of his musical language finally becomes evident. From the Diaries of Adam Czerniaków, Op. 82 is scored for full orchestra and a narrator, who reads out harrowing extracts from the diaries of Czerniaków – chairman of the ‘Judenrat’, or Jewish local government in the Warsaw ghetto from 1939 until 1942. There is no singing, and the music is in one continuous movement. This result is at once both extremely compelling and yet eerily riveting, with American actor, screenwriter and film-director Peter Riegert delivering the text with exactly the right import and emphasis. There are no unnecessary histrionics needed here.’

    —Philip R Buttall, MusicWeb International

  9. :

    ‘Summary for the Busy Executive: Excellent music, some of it mind-blowing, in fine performances from a composer who may turn out to be a master. […]

    The earliest, the piano concerto, astonishes in its assured expressiveness. […]

    His mature chamber music and symphonies, although conservative in form and language, rank among the best of the postwar era.They move less like contemporary works than like classic modern ones. He could create a coherent musical narrative over a long stretch. However, unlike many who habitually worked on a large canvas, he could turn out wonderful miniatures […]

    Rosner quickly absorbed his influences into an original, highly affective language. […]

    The performances run far above the usual read-throughs given contemporary or even unfamiliar music. Conductor David Amos has a long history of championing Rosner’s music and has consistently delivered superior performances of all the scores he has presented. Peter Vinograde has shown a strong commitment to neo-romantic composers, Nicolas Flagello especially, and he gives no less to Rosner. Peter Riegert, an actor who improves every movie in
    which he appears simply by being in it, voices Czerniaków’s words with neither sentimentality nor emotional blackmail and thus gives them even more dignity. Of course, the London Philharmonic doesn’t need my praise. They have been one of the world’s best and most adventurous orchestras for years. Tremendously exciting performances and a disc Rosner’s fans should treasure.’

    —Steve Schwartz, Classical Net

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