Recent Writings

Piano Music of PAUL CRESTON: Three Narratives; Rhythmicon

Album Information Three Narratives, Op. 79 (1962) 25:25 1 Narrative No. 1 (7:40)2 Narrative No. 2 (7:55)3 Narrative No. 3 (9:46) Rhythmicon (1971-74): Volumes 7-10 44:49 4 Affirmation (2:05)5 A Jest (1:09)6 Offertory (2:39)7 Mirror Etude (1:04)8 Interlude (2:13)9 Salve Regina (3:20)10 Child’s Play (1:11)11 Quasi-Barbaro (2:06)12 Hemiola (1:15)13 Barcarolle (1:49)14 Badinage (1:19)15 Secret Game…

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BLOCH: Piano Quintet No. 1

Program Notes Ernest Bloch lived a long life—79 years—and was creatively productive for six decades. His busy life took him from Switzerland to Brussels, Franfurt, then New York, to Cleveland, San Francisco, back to Switzerland, then back to California, finally spending his last twenty years in Oregon. Throughout his life he continued to evolve both…

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Rosner: Requiem, OP. 59 (1973)

Album Information REQUIEM, OP. 59 (1973)BY ARNOLD ROSNER (1945-2013)Premiere Recording Overture: The Seventh Seal* (11:14) Feargal Mostyn-Williams, counter-tenor Thomas Elwin, tenor Gareth Brynmor John, baritone Recitative: Ein Wort, ein Satz (3:24) (Thomas Elwin, tenor) Toccata: Musica Satanica (5:06) Ballade: Les Neiges d’antan (6:13) (Kelley Hollis, soprano) Sutra: Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo* (9:47) (Gareth Brynmor John,…

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Rosner’s Requiem: On a Forgotten Genius of American Music

In the spring of 1970, I was about to enter the Manhattan School of Music to pursue the study of musicology. At the time, I was working at C. F. Peters Corporation, then the primary publisher of the music of Alan Hovhaness, a well-known American composer whose unusual style involved combining the modal polyphony of the Renaissance with Armenian, Indian, Japanese, and Korean elements, and who interested me greatly.

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MUCZYNSKI Piano Sonatas

MUCZYNSKI Piano Sonatas: Nos. 1-3 ● Zachary Lopes (pn) ● ALBANY TROY1771 (42:44) This is a most welcome recording of Robert Muczynski’s three compelling piano sonatas—the first to appear since Laurel released its two-CD set of the composer’s own performances of his complete solo piano music. I should mention that though the latter recordings were…

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Thoughts on Evaluating Unfamiliar Music

I have been a musicologist and critic for almost 50 years now, during which most of my activity has involved the description, assessment, and–in some cases– advocacy of music composed since 1915. Since there really aren’t generally accepted criteria for such evaluations, most critics—not to mention armchair musicologists—offer their reactions and judgments on an intuitive,…

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ROSNER: Nocturne, Op. 68; Tempus Perfectum, Op. 109; Symphony No. 6, Op. 64

ARNOLD ROSNER: Nocturne, Op. 68; Tempus Perfectum, Op. 109; Symphony No. 6, Op. 64 London Phiharmonic Orch., Nick Palmer, cond., TOCCATA Classics. All music available from the Estate of Arnold Rosner; For further information, visit www.ArnoldRosnerMusic.com During his fifty-year compositional career, the American composer Arnold Rosner (1945–2013) produced a body of work that combined diverse influences into a…

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ROSNER: Five Ko-Ans for Orchestra; Unraveling Dances; The Parable of the Law

ARNOLD ROSNER. Five Ko-ans for Orchestra; Unraveling Dances; The Parable of the Law. Nick Palmer, cond. Christopher Burchett, baritone; London Philharmonic Orchestra; Nick Palmer, cond. TOCCATA T0CC-0464 During his fifty-year compositional career, the American composer Arnold Rosner (1945–2013) produced a body of work that combined diverse influences into a powerful, distinctly personal musical voice. His catalogue comprises…

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PERSICHETTI: Selected Piano Music

VINCENT PERSICHETTI Selected Piano Music. CENTAUR CRC-3632 Vincent Persichetti was one of the most widely respected American musicians of his generation. A prolific composer, brilliant educator and lecturer, and prodigious pianist, he composed more than 150 works in virtually all genres and for virtually all performing media, while serving for 40 years on the faculty of…

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SAMUEL BARBER: Absolute Beauty

SAMUEL BARBER: Absolute Beauty ● Documentary with commentary and performance excerpts, both contemporary and historical ● ZEN VIOLENCE FILMS www.samuelbarberfilm.com, available from amazon.samuelbarberfilm.com (DVD: 130:00) Documentary director: H. Paul Moon This is a most welcome documentary about American composer Samuel Barber. In a relatively leisurely fashion, it covers the scope of his creative output from Dover Beach through…

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