Ned Rorem: Piano Concerto No. 2; Cello Concerto

Ned Rorem: Piano Concerto No. 2; Cello Concerto

by José Serebrier
     
 

Despite being composed more than a half-century ago, Ned Rorem's "Second Piano Concerto" is only now receiving its world-premiere recording -- a crime of omission if there ever was one. Hopefully this dazzling recording will inspire soloists and orchestras alike to begin including this very accessible, captivating composition on programs and CDs more frequently. The… See more details below

Overview

Despite being composed more than a half-century ago, Ned Rorem's "Second Piano Concerto" is only now receiving its world-premiere recording -- a crime of omission if there ever was one. Hopefully this dazzling recording will inspire soloists and orchestras alike to begin including this very accessible, captivating composition on programs and CDs more frequently. The concerto is a true tour-de-force for soloist and orchestra (especially the percussion section) alike. Pianist Simon Mulligan and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra pull off this challenging work with remarkable ease. The dialogue between soloist and orchestra is crisp, engaging, and seamless. The "Cello Concerto," written in 2002, is equally accessible and interesting to a wide swath of listeners. Rather than a traditional three-movement form, Rorem uses eight shorter movements, each with a descriptive title that gives listeners a little clue as to the compositional "tricks" he uses within that music. The fifth movement, for example, entitled "A Single Tone, A Dozen Implications," finds the solo cello sustaining a single note throughout while the orchestra fills in the remaining 12 notes of the octave. The concerto concludes not with a bang like the "Second Piano Concerto," but with a spacious calm. Here again, the RSNO and cello soloist Wen-Sinn Yang rise brilliantly to the challenge. Yang's sound, however, is not as present as it could be, sounding rather like he's just a member of the orchestra rather than a soloist sitting in front. Still, this minor qualm should in no way dissuade listeners from enjoying this fulfilling album.

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Editorial Reviews

Philadelphia Inquirer - David Patrick Stearns
1/2 An all-around well-played, well-recorded enterprise.
Dallas Morning News - Lawson Taitte
[Grade: A] Pianist Simon Mulligan plays up a storm, and conductor Jose Serebrier whips the orchestra into the appropriate frenzy.... Two great concertos to add to your list.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/25/2007
Label:
Naxos American
UPC:
0636943931523
catalogNumber:
8559315
Rank:
223385

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Cello Concerto  - Ned Rorem  - José Serebrier  -  Royal Scottish National Orchestra  - Wen-Sinn Yang
  2. Piano Concerto No. 2  - Ned Rorem  - José Serebrier  -  Royal Scottish National Orchestra  - Simon Mulligan

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