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Music By Arnold Rosner - World Premiere Recordings

Release Date: 07/30/2000 
Label:  Laurel   Catalog #: 849   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Arnold Rosner
Performer:  Nahum ZaidelJohn PeelingKatherine BjornsonSteven Foster,   ... 
Conductor:  David Amos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jerusalem Symphony OrchestraSt. Paul's Cathedral Church Chorus San DiegoClarion Brass San Diego
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

ROSNER Concerto Grosso No. 1 1. Five Meditations. 1 Symphony No. 7, The Tragedy of Queen Jane: Dirge 1. A Gentle Musicke 1. Magnificat 2 David Amos, cond; 1 Jerusalem SO; 2 Read more class="ARIAL12">Ch of Cathedral Church of St. Paul, San Diego; 2 Clarion Brass LAUREL 849 (66:20)

This release from 1989 was the first full disc dedicated to the music of American composer Arnold Rosner (b. 1945). Since that time, numerous additional CDs have appeared, primarily on the Albany and Naxos labels. However, this Laurel disc remains probably the best single album introduction to the work of this wonderful composer. Arnold Rosner’s music has been reviewed a number of times in this magazine in the past years, and a new interview that discusses his work and musical style appears in this issue, so it feels unnecessary to describe it again here in detail. Rosner’s music is at once deeply indebted to tradition and deeply individual. I very much count myself among those to whom his body of work speaks deeply and profoundly, and he is one of my very favorite living composers.

Concerto Grosso No. 1 (1974) is one of Rosner’s two works in this genre. It blends some of the vigor and textures of late-Baroque music with Rosner’s harmonic language, with its emphasis on consonant sonorities in wide ranging modalities. Rosner remarks in the booklet notes that Five Meditations (1967) is loosely patterned on the structure of the Mass. He would go on to write a true symphonic mass (his Fifth Symphony) in 1973—one of his greatest and most indispensible pieces, available on a Naxos release. A Gentle Musicke (1969) is one of Rosner’s sunniest pieces, a divertimento in a pastoral vein. It is much akin to the many English works for string orchestra from the early and mid 20th century.

The Tragedy of Queen Jane is an extracted four-movement symphony of orchestral interludes from Rosner’s magnum opus, the opera The Chronicle of Nine (1984), about the last days of Lady Jane Grey. The opera is Rosner’s masterpiece and employs the perfect subject for his musical language—old and new are combined in an exquisite musical feast. One of my most fervent musical dreams is that I will one day see a production of this opera. The entire symphony was recorded on an Albany release of Rosner’s orchestra music, but the “Dirge” movement (the prologue to act II) stands well on its own—a solemn and grand cortège.

Magnificat (1979) is the only one of Rosner’s choral works to date to appear on a recording. Not yet recorded are three remarkable unaccompanied Mass settings, large-scale cantus firmus Masses that revisit medieval and Renaissance influences in a contemporary way. In Magnificat the choir is accompanied by brass quartet, and echoes of Schütz and Gabrieli are present. In his notes, Rosner describes intentionally choosing to set the text as a single continuous movement, rather than in smaller separate movements (as in Bach’s setting), however, much musical and textural contrast is employed for the various sections of the text. This is one of my favorite Rosner works, splendidly stirring and intricately made. It is not at all an easy piece to perform (especially its series of tight hockets for the brass), but the choir and brass acquit themselves well. David Amos leads strong performances of the orchestral music.

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Works on This Recording

Concerto grosso no 1 in D minor, Op. 60 by Arnold Rosner
Conductor:  David Amos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Length: 17 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Chronicle of Nine, Op. 81: Prelude to Act 2 by Arnold Rosner
Conductor:  David Amos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Length: 5 Minutes 44 Secs. 
A Gentle Musicke, Op. 44 by Arnold Rosner
Performer:  Nahum Zaidel (Flute)
Conductor:  David Amos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Length: 10 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Magnificat, Op. 72 by Arnold Rosner
Performer:  John Peeling (Tenor), Katherine Bjornson (Alto), Steven Foster (Trumpet),
Richard Gordon (Trombone), Mike Fellinger (Trombone), Mark Bedell (Trumpet)
Conductor:  David Amos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul's Cathedral Church Chorus San Diego,  Clarion Brass San Diego
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Length: 14 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a DDD recording. 
Meditations (5), Op. 36 by Arnold Rosner
Performer:  Mina Seidman-Haas (English Horn), Irena Kessler (Harp)
Conductor:  David Amos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Length: 18 Minutes 37 Secs. 

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