Friday, October 21, 2011

CCC 02 - Arnold Rosner

We continue the Consonant Classical Challenge with Arnold Rosner. It's no accident that composer Arnold Rosner was chosen to write the entry for Alan Hovhaness (*) for Groves' Encyclopedia of Music and Musicians. Rosner had not only studied Hovhaness' works, their music shares certain stylistic elements as well.

That's not to say that Rosner doesn't have unique compositional voice -- he does. The music for "The Tragedy of Queen Jane" Op. 78 is a good example. Rosner is fond of the same kind of long, languid melodies as Hovhaness. But he's also interested in medieval and renaissance counterpoint and harmonies which gives his music a different character than Hovhaness'.

 As with this work, many of Rosner's works use modal scales rather than the standard major/minor scales. And he also uses earlier forms of voice-leading that give his music a certain "ancient" quality.

Below is another good example. It's the first part of his Responses, Hosanna and Fugue, Op. 67. 

Rosner has an impressive catalog of works, including eight symphonies, six string quartets and a wide variety of orchestral, chamber, and solo instrumental music. And it's all of the same high quality as the samples above. Rosner's music builds on the traditions of the past rather than ignore them -- without sounding derivative or uninspired.

Recommended Recordings:
Rosner: Concerto Grosso No. 1, Op. 60; Five Meditations, Op. 6: Prelude to Act 2 of The Chronicle of Nine, Op. 81; A Gentle Musicke, Op. 44; Magnificat, Op. 72

Nicolas Flagello: Missa Sinfonica; Arnold Rosner: Symphony No. 5

Chamber Music of Arnold Rosner, Vol. 2

(*) Why isn't Alan Hovhaness included in the Consonant Classical Challenge? Only because we're limiting ourselves to living composers.

The Consonant Classical Challenge background information.

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