George Rochberg

Biography

Born: July 5, 1918; Paterson, NJ   Died: May 29, 2005  
Since the early 1970s George Rochberg has been one of the most controversial figures in American music. His struggle to escape the strictures of serial composition, which he had 20 years earlier hailed as the logical and unavoidable result of musical development, led him to re-embrace traditional tonality and abandon the concepts of "originality" and "progress" which had defined modernism during the twentieth century. Born in 1918, Rochberg Read more received a bachelor's degree from Montclair State Teacher's College and subsequently enrolled at the Mannes School of Music, where he worked with Georg Szell and Leopold Mannes himself. After serving in the military during World War II, Rochberg studied at the Curtis institute until 1947, when he received a Bachelor of Music degree. A year later he received a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and returned to the Curtis Institute to teach. Impressed by the power of serial music during a 1950 stay at the American Academy in Rome, where he befriended 12-tone composer Luigi Dallapiccola. Rochberg then began to explore twelve-tone procedure in his own music, eventually producing a string of expressive works in that language, including the Second Symphony, (1956), and the Twelve Bagatelles for solo piano, (1952). Also from the 1950s come a number of important theoretical treatises on aspects of twelve-tone technique, specifically the ramifications of what is known in modern music theory as the hexachord.

By the early 1960s Rochberg was becoming increasingly frustrated with the limitations of strict serialism, and his last truly twelve-tone work, a piano trio, was completed in 1963. Experimentation with quotation (i.e. the presentation of a snippet of older music within a newly composed framework), as in the Music for the Magic Theater, left Rochberg dissatisfied. With the Third String Quartet of 1972, Rochberg publicly rejected the musical status quo, returning instead to a thoroughly tonal idiom, juxtaposed with bitter, often violent atonal music. The slow movement of the quartet is a set of variations composed in a style reminiscent of Beethoven, while the finale seeks to replicate Mahler. While the quartet was hailed by some as a masterpiece. and as the best hope for music in the future, others were less impressed, seeing instead a motley compilation of stylistic cliches which added up to something less than the sum of its parts. Masterful performances by the Concord String Quartet, for whom many of Rochberg's subsequent chamber works would be written, did a great deal to promote Rochberg's new musical aesthetic. Subsequent works, often cast in staggeringly large molds, such as the 50-minute, seven-movement Piano Quintet of 1975, follow in much the same vein as the Third Quartet.

During his long career Rochberg served in a number of administrative and faculty positions. From 1951 to 1960 he worked for the Theodore Presser publishing house. He maintained a faculty position at the University of Pennsylvania from 1960 until the mid-'90s. Read less

There are 57 George Rochberg recordings available.

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Works

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George Rochberg


MOST POPULAR WORKS
No. 1. Drammaticamente e con un tempo libero
No. 2. Scherzoso e tempo giusto
No. 3. Con brio
No. 4. Tempo di marcia
No. 5. Quasi parlando
No. 6. Satirico
No. 7. Teneramente e liricamente
No. 8. Giocoso
No. 9. Intenso, con un sentimento di destino
No. 10. -
No. 11. Con moto, passionamente
No. 12. Burlesca
No. 1. Allegro energico
No. 2. Presto
No. 3. Allegro molto e con fucco
No. 4. Poco allegro ma quasi recitando
No. 5. Poco agitato ma con molto rubato
No. 6. Poco allegretto ma con molto rubato
No. 7. Presto (after Beethoven Op. 74 Scherzo)
No. 8. Languido (after Schubert Waltz Op. 9, No. 22)
No. 9. Non troppo presto (after Brahms Op. 35, Book 1, No. 2)
No. 10. Vivace (after Brahms Op. 35, Book 1, No. 3)
No. 11. Andante (after Brahms Op. 35, Book 1, No. 11)
No. 12. Andante com moto (after Brahms Op. 35, Book 1, No. 12)
No. 13. Feroce, energico (after Brahms Op. 35, Book 2, No.10)
No. 14. Alla guitarra; allegretto con molto rubato
No. 15. Con grazia; un poco agitato
No. 16. Andante amoroso
No. 17. Poco adagio
No. 18. Allegro fantastico
No. 19. Vivace
No. 20. Quasi cadenza: Andante con molto espressivo
No. 21. Allegro con brio (after Beethoven Symphony No. 7, Finale)
No. 22. Molto espressivo e cantando
No. 23. Andante graziso e tranquillo
No. 24. Allegretto
No. 25. Scherzo
No. 26. Con brio
No. 27. Aria
No. 28. Molto agitato
No. 29. Lento ma non troppo
No. 30. Poco allegretto e leggiero
No. 31. Molto adagio
No. 32. Allegro assai, burlesco
No. 33. Moderato - Con amore
No. 34. Molto adagio
No. 35. Allegro molto - Fantastico
No. 36. Largo - Sereno
No. 37. Barcarolle
No. 38. Can-Can Tempo - Presto
No. 39. Elegiac; fantastico
No. 40. Robust, do not rush
No. 41. Allegro molto (after Webern Passacaglia Op. 1)
No. 42. Nocturnal: slow
No. 43. Andantino
No. 44. Scherzo (after Mahler Symphony No. 5: Scherzo)
No. 45. Presto
No. 46. Bravura, sempre recitando, in the "grand manner"
No. 47. Arabesque, fantastico
No. 48. Moderately fast, fantastico
No. 49. Feroce
No. 50. Fantasy
No. 51. Quasi Presto, robusto (Paganini's Theme: Caprice 24, Book 2)
I. Fanfares and March
II. Blues
III. Largo doloroso
IV. Sfumato
V. Toccata-Rag
I. Solemn Refrain I
II. Chiaroscuro I
III. Canonic Variations
IV. Gioco del fuoco
V. Solemn Refrain II
VI. Gargoyles
VII. Nebulae
VIII. Solemn Refrain III
IX. Sognando
X. The Infinite Ricercar
XI. Solemn Refrain IV
XII. Caprichos
XIII. Fuga a sei voci
XIV. Chiaroscuro II
XV. Solemn Refrain V
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1974): I. Introduction
II. Intermezzo (A)
III. Fantasia
IV. Intermezzo (B)
V. Epilogue
I. Praeludium
II. Intermezzo
III. Burlesca
IV. Cortege
V. Impromptu
VI. The Deepest Carillon
VII. Tema: Ballade
VIII. Capriccio
IX. Minuetto
X. Canon
XI. Nocturne
XII. Arabesque
XIII. Fuga a tre voce
No. 1. Poco allegro piacevole
No. 2. Molto rubato
No. 3. Allegro assai
No. 4. Presto
I. Allegro moderato
II. Adagio lamentoso
III. Fantasia: Epilogue, allegro moderato, ma un poco parlando
I. Declamando
II. Allegro scherzoso
III. Adagio
IV. Quasi tempo primo
V. Coda
WORKS
No. 1. Drammaticamente e con un tempo libero
No. 2. Scherzoso e tempo giusto
No. 3. Con brio
No. 4. Tempo di marcia
No. 5. Quasi parlando
No. 6. Satirico
No. 7. Teneramente e liricamente
No. 8. Giocoso
No. 9. Intenso, con un sentimento di destino
No. 10. -
No. 11. Con moto, passionamente
No. 12. Burlesca
No. 1. Allegro energico
No. 2. Presto
No. 3. Allegro molto e con fucco
No. 4. Poco allegro ma quasi recitando
No. 5. Poco agitato ma con molto rubato
No. 6. Poco allegretto ma con molto rubato
No. 7. Presto (after Beethoven Op. 74 Scherzo)
No. 8. Languido (after Schubert Waltz Op. 9, No. 22)
No. 9. Non troppo presto (after Brahms Op. 35, Book 1, No. 2)
No. 10. Vivace (after Brahms Op. 35, Book 1, No. 3)
No. 11. Andante (after Brahms Op. 35, Book 1, No. 11)
No. 12. Andante com moto (after Brahms Op. 35, Book 1, No. 12)
No. 13. Feroce, energico (after Brahms Op. 35, Book 2, No.10)
No. 14. Alla guitarra; allegretto con molto rubato
No. 15. Con grazia; un poco agitato
No. 16. Andante amoroso
No. 17. Poco adagio
No. 18. Allegro fantastico
No. 19. Vivace
No. 20. Quasi cadenza: Andante con molto espressivo
No. 21. Allegro con brio (after Beethoven Symphony No. 7, Finale)
No. 22. Molto espressivo e cantando
No. 23. Andante graziso e tranquillo
No. 24. Allegretto
No. 25. Scherzo
No. 26. Con brio
No. 27. Aria
No. 28. Molto agitato
No. 29. Lento ma non troppo
No. 30. Poco allegretto e leggiero
No. 31. Molto adagio
No. 32. Allegro assai, burlesco
No. 33. Moderato - Con amore
No. 34. Molto adagio
No. 35. Allegro molto - Fantastico
No. 36. Largo - Sereno
No. 37. Barcarolle
No. 38. Can-Can Tempo - Presto
No. 39. Elegiac; fantastico
No. 40. Robust, do not rush
No. 41. Allegro molto (after Webern Passacaglia Op. 1)
No. 42. Nocturnal: slow
No. 43. Andantino
No. 44. Scherzo (after Mahler Symphony No. 5: Scherzo)
No. 45. Presto
No. 46. Bravura, sempre recitando, in the "grand manner"
No. 47. Arabesque, fantastico
No. 48. Moderately fast, fantastico
No. 49. Feroce
No. 50. Fantasy
No. 51. Quasi Presto, robusto (Paganini's Theme: Caprice 24, Book 2)
I. Fanfares and March
II. Blues
III. Largo doloroso
IV. Sfumato
V. Toccata-Rag
I. Solemn Refrain I
II. Chiaroscuro I
III. Canonic Variations
IV. Gioco del fuoco
V. Solemn Refrain II
VI. Gargoyles
VII. Nebulae
VIII. Solemn Refrain III
IX. Sognando
X. The Infinite Ricercar
XI. Solemn Refrain IV
XII. Caprichos
XIII. Fuga a sei voci
XIV. Chiaroscuro II
XV. Solemn Refrain V
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1974): I. Introduction
II. Intermezzo (A)
III. Fantasia
IV. Intermezzo (B)
V. Epilogue
I. Double Canon Overture
II. Blues Rock (A)
III. Adagio
IV. Blues Rock (B)
V. Tag Finale
No. 1. Molto cantabile e flessibile
No. 2. Poco adagio
No. 3. Adagio - Grave - Sorrowing
I. Praeludium
II. Intermezzo
III. Burlesca
IV. Cortege
V. Impromptu
VI. The Deepest Carillon
VII. Tema: Ballade
VIII. Capriccio
IX. Minuetto
X. Canon
XI. Nocturne
XII. Arabesque
XIII. Fuga a tre voce
No. 1. Poco allegro piacevole
No. 2. Molto rubato
No. 3. Allegro assai
No. 4. Presto
I. Allegro moderato
II. Adagio lamentoso
III. Fantasia: Epilogue, allegro moderato, ma un poco parlando
I. Sarabande: Molto adagio con tenerezza
II. Scherzo capriccioso, con spirito
III. Ardentemente -
III. Adagio
I. Vigoroso
II. Poco andante con espressione e flessibilita
III. Giocoso ma non troppo
I. Allegro molto, ma un poco pesante: Exultant!!
II. Night Music: Poco adagio, like a slow march
III. Capriccio: Fast and impetuous, like a curtain-raiser
IV. Variations: Molto adagio, very slow and stately
V. Finale: Adagio, parlando e rubato - Allegro gioioso
I. Declamando
II. Allegro scherzoso
III. Adagio
IV. Quasi tempo primo
V. Coda
I. Adagio sereno; molto espressivo e tranquillo
II. Andante con moto
III. Poco adagio
IV. Poco allegretto; grazioso e leggiero; amoroso
V. Andantino grazioso; sempre leggiero
VI. Moving gently
VII. Molto adagio e tranquillo; sereno


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