WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Mathew Rosenblum: Circadian Rhythms

Release Date: 09/11/2012 
Label:  New World Records   Catalog #: 80736   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Mathew Rosenblum
Performer:  Rob FrankenberryDave EggarChuck PalmerStefani Starin,   ... 
Conductor:  Dean Drummond
Orchestra/Ensemble:  NewbandRaschčr Saxophone QuartetCalmus Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Special Order: If we cannot ship this title in 45 days, your order will be cancelled and you will be notified via email.  
On sale! $18.98
CD:  $16.99
Special Order

Notes and Editorial Reviews

ROSENBLUM Yonah’s Dream. 1 Circadian Rhythms. 2 Two Harmonies. 3 Under the Rainbow. 4 The Big Rip (A Science Fiction Cantata) 5 Dean Drummond, cond; 1 Newband; 2 Deoro Ensmeble; Read more class="SUPER12b">3 Wendy Roberts (va); 3 Timothy Feeney (perc); 3 Shirley Woo (pn); 4 Lindsay Goodman (fl, a fl, picc); 5 Calmus Ensemble; 5 Raschèr Sax Qrt NEW WORLD 80736-2 (68:44 Text and Translation)

Mathew Rosenblum (b. 1954) is based in Pittsburgh, and is obviously a composer with a rich imagination and ferocious intellectual curiosity. The most immediately distinguishing aspect of his work is its use of alternative tunings (i.e., other than standard equal temperament). Yonah’s Dream (2008) uses Harry Partch’s just intonation scale (43 tones to the octave), as it is written for Newband, an ensemble composed entirely of Partch instruments. But Rosenblum does not write a Partch knockoff (and he uses different tuning systems in his other pieces). He has many more references to contemporary pop music than Partch (for example, the second movement of the 1989 Circadian Rhythms , Stargazing, has a loose, cool-jazz feel), while the latter was searching more for a revival of primitive and archaic musical aesthetics. 2003’s Under the Rainbow for flute and fixed media is the height of this engagement with popular culture, a fever-dream of cartoon music and The Wizard of Oz through which the flute(s) wander wide-eyed, a little like Dorothy. Rosenblum is also quite willing to let the music settle into a sort of hypnotic stasis, as occurs in the Two Harmonies of 2011. And the 2009 The Big Rip (A Science Fiction Cantata) is a meditation on dark energy, both as it is manifested in cosmology, and in the nefarious acts of unseen financial “masters of the universe,” who devastate lives from a distance, lethal yet invisible. It has quite ravishing vocal writing for the German Calmus vocal ensemble (who also play percussion) and the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet (who produce sounds and textures which at times sound almost electronic). In this piece the harmony sounds much more overtly overtone-based.

All the music is fresh and groovy, but it never has the discomfiting feel of a lot of music that’s trying too hard to be hip. Rosenblum is a quester, he’s after answers to big questions through his art, even when the scale is intimate. I applaud this quality. The performances and recordings are excellent. Circadian Rhythms, Two Harmonies, and Under the Rainbow feature some stars of the Pittsburgh new-music scene. The insightful notes are by Rosenblum’s friend and colleague Eric Moe, another Pittsburgh composer whose work I admire. For credit due, Deoro is Dae Eggar, cello; Chuck Palmer, percussion; and Rob Frankenberry, keyboards.

FANFARE: Robert Carl
Read less

Works on This Recording

Circadian Rhythms by Mathew Rosenblum
Performer:  Rob Frankenberry (Piano), Dave Eggar (Cello), Chuck Palmer (Percussian)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; New York, USA 
Yonah's Dream by Mathew Rosenblum
Performer:  Stefani Starin (Flute)
Conductor:  Dean Drummond
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Newband
Two Harmonies by Mathew Rosenblum
Performer:  Shirley Yoo (Piano), Wendy Richman (Viola), Timothy Feeney (Percussion)
Under the Rainbow by Mathew Rosenblum
Performer:  Lindsey Goodman (Flute)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2002; USA 
The Big Rip by Mathew Rosenblum
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Raschčr Saxophone Quartet,  Calmus Ensemble

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title