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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
of works and Radio interview