Rochberg: Symphony No. 5, Black Sounds, Transcendental Variations

Rochberg: Symphony No. 5, Black Sounds, Transcendental Variations

by Christopher Lyndon-Gee
     
 

By rejecting the pursuit of originality as a pointless endeavor, and by drawing on the masters for inspiration, George Rochberg has become a controversial figure -- admired by conservatives, distrusted by the avant-garde, and possibly misunderstood by all. His music defies categorization, even under the rubric of post-modernism, so each work must be judged without… See more details below

Overview

By rejecting the pursuit of originality as a pointless endeavor, and by drawing on the masters for inspiration, George Rochberg has become a controversial figure -- admired by conservatives, distrusted by the avant-garde, and possibly misunderstood by all. His music defies categorization, even under the rubric of post-modernism, so each work must be judged without preconceptions. His "Symphony No. 5" openly partakes of Schoenberg's expressionism and Mahler's elegiac lyricism, yet these are internalized and adapted so well that they merge into a coherent and fairly successful whole. "Black Sounds" was composed in homage to Varèse, but its blatant imitation of that composer is troubling. The fanfares, clusters, and repeated pitch cells are too close to those in "Arcana" and "Intégrales," and Rochberg even matches Varèse's timbres to the point where his effort seems slavish. The "Transcendental Variations," adapted from the "String Quartet No. 3," is the most overtly tonal work on this disc, and its rich harmonies and shimmering string sounds leave a strong impression. Yet Rochberg's passionate embrace of the past is a little unsettling here, if only because his self-consciousness is detectable in every mannered trill and turn. The Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Lyndon-Gee, is fine in these performances, and the recorded sound is balanced and clear.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Gramophone - Andrew Farach-Colton
[The symphony] is a gripping, emotionally expansive work -- cast in a single movement of almost half an hour's duration -- whose gestures are defiantly traditional.... Lyndon-Gee makes a strong case for the symphony, inciting the Saarbrücken Radio Orchestra to play with guts and grit.... Not to be missed.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/15/2003
Label:
Naxos American
UPC:
0636943911525
catalogNumber:
8559115
Rank:
378044

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Symphony No. 5  - George Rochberg  - Christopher Lyndon-Gee  -  Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra  - Helen Mirkil
  2. Black Sounds, for 17 wind instruments (music for the ballet The Act)  - George Rochberg  - Christopher Lyndon-Gee  -  Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra  - Helen Mirkil
  3. Transcendental Variations, for Orchestra  - George Rochberg  - Christopher Lyndon-Gee  -  Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra  - Helen Mirkil

Read More

Album Credits

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >