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Arnold ROSNER (1945-)
Sextet for Strings Nun komm' der Heiden Heiland Op. 47 (1970 rev. 1997) [24.53]
Besos sin cuento (Kisses without number) Op. 86 (1980s?) [20.03]
Trombone Sonata Op. 106 (1996) [17.08]
Sestetto Agosto (Sextet); Pinotage (Besos); Gregory Erickson (trombone); Angelina Tallaj (piano) (Sonata)
rec. Northminster Presbyterian Church, Evanston, Illinois, 15-16 Aug 1999 (sextet), 12 June 2000 (Besos); Patrych Sound Studios, Bronx, NY, 1 Dec 2000 (sonata) DDD
ALBANY TROY553 [63.19]



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This is volume 3 in Albany's continuing series of the chamber music of Arnold Rosner. I have reviewed many if not all of the Rosner series on Albany and admire his music greatly. His hallmarks are unmistakable and consummately distinctive. The Rosner signature is writ large through every page of his scores. The identity is self-proclaimed in his writing as strongly as that of Martinů, Arnold, Szymanowski, Harris and Sibelius.

In the 1970 String Sextet on the Lutheran Hymn Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland we have a work of unflinching concentration and entrancing character. Rosner has the capacity to write music of utmost seriousness and yet avoid dullness at one extreme and gush at the other. The sextet is in two big symphonic style movements (Variations and Motet). This must be demanding music to play - both technically and emotionally.

The Trombone Sonata plays up the imperious and noble strengths of the trombone. Both players are well up to the demands of this work with the piano no blushing violet but jostling and sparring with the 'big boy' of the orchestra. The sonata springs from the composer's achieved ambition to write a sonata for every major instrument of the orchestra.

Besos is a Spanish cycle of six songs. The alto is Julia Bentley. She is joined by Janice Macdonald (flute), Claudia Lasareff-Mironoff (viola) and Alison Attar (harp). The result is a tour de force that deserves to be counted with the song cycles of Manuel de Falla, Granados and Montsalvatge. The song to sample is Duermes Licisca (tr.7). The words are given in the sung Spanish with English translations beside the Spanish. As with much of Rosner's music the songs have a Medieval or Tudor lutenist feel. The rhythmic patterning of In Jaén is pointed up by the tambourine.

Rosner stands at the confluence of some powerful musical streams: the inwardness of Vaughan Williams in the Tallis Fantasia and Fifth Symphony; Hovhaness at his most introspective; Tippett, the high priest of string anthems as in the Corelli Fantasia and Concerto for Double String Orchestra; voices from distant antiquity and cultures. This is heartfelt and soulful music that puts the agreeable superficialities of Einaudi and his brethren into perspective.

Rob Barnett

WEBLINKS

ROSNER: catalog of works and Radio interview

ROSNER String Quartets

ROSNER Horn Sonata etc

ROSNER Millennium Overture etc

ROSNER Concerto Grosso

ROSNER Responses

www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2002/Dec02/dello_joio_hovhaness_rosner.htm

www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2001/Nov01/Modern_Masters_III.htm

ROSNER Oboe Sonata

ROSNER Quartet 4



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