ClassicsOnline Home » ROREM, N.: Piano Concerto No. 2 / Cello Concerto (Mulligan, Wen-Sinn Yang, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Serebrier) > Review List

ROREM, N.: Piano Concerto No. 2 / Cello Concerto (Mulligan, Wen-Sinn Yang, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Serebrier)

Composer(s):Rorem, Ned
Genre Classical Music
Category Concertos
Catalogue 8.559315
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps

Chosen in 1988 as Composer of the Year by Musical America and now recognized as one of the finest song composers in America, Ned Rorem has also written a significant body of music for orchestra, including three Symphonies (Naxos 8.559149), a Violin Concerto and a Flute Concerto (Naxos 8.559278). When Leonard Bernstein gave the première of Rorem’s Third Symphony with the New York Philharmonic in 1959, it signaled a significant triumph for his orchestral music, written in a tonal idiom alien to the experimental practices of the day. Composed in Morocco in 1951, the Second Piano Concerto has a distinctly American character. The last movement, ‘Real Fast!’, is a tour de force for soloist and orchestra, with jazz-like



Review By Robert Reilly,,August 2008

If Ravel or Poulenc had been American, they might have written Ned Rorem’s scintillating Piano Concerto No. 2, offered by Naxos (8.559315) with conducting magician José Serebrier, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and pianist Simon Mulligan. Whimsy, charm, wit, and melody, as conveyed to and by an American in Paris. This is simply delightful. What a disgrace this concerto was set aside for half a century. Welcome back, along with the wonderful, more recent Cello Concerto (2002) accompanying it.

Review By ,Fono Forum,June 2008


Review By Lawrence A. Johnson,Miami Herald,April 2008

Simon Mulligan and Wen-Sinn Yang are eloquent soloists in their respective concertos, and Serebrier’s assured direction gets polished and responsive playing from the Scottish orchestra.

Review By ,,November 2007

The irrepressible Ned Rorem, who turned 84 in October, is very well represented on a new disc from Naxos that features cellist Wen-Sinn Yang in the Cello Concerto and pianist Simon Mulligan in the Second Piano Concerto. José Serebrier conducts the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Review By David Hurwitz,,October 2007

Naxos’ ongoing series of Ned Rorem orchestral music recordings offers well-deserved recognition to a major American composer. This latest release is no less rewarding than the prior issues. The Second Piano Concerto dates from 1951 and shows the young composer writing with tremendous gusto. A large work (34 minutes) in the traditional three movements, its scoring is both vivid and at times a touch dense and “over the top”, while the work’s melodic generosity and rhythmic drive are undeniably infectious; its neglect must be counted a major mystery. Conductor José Serebrier’s notes make much of the music’s “American” qualities, particularly in the finale, but I was much more forcibly struck by Rorem’s much-advertised love

Rorem’s Cello Concerto dates from 2002, and like many of his late orchestra works it abandons traditional form in favor of a series of brief movements given cute names that may or may not have anything significant to do with their musical content. Frankly, I find this habit unnecessarily coy and distracting, but others may simply be intrigued; and if the listener’s curiosity, once aroused, leads to giving the music more concentrated attention, then it’s all to the good.

The sequence of eight movements is laid out for maximum contrast, and I particularly enjoyed the seventh, a characterful waltz. Indeed, Rorem is such a fine melodist when he wants to be that you have to wonder why he feels the need to venture into more aggressively “modern” territory now and then. Perhaps he’s working a little bit too hard at being a “serious” composer. Never mind: this is a fine work, also strongly played by cellist Wen-Sinn Yang. Naxos’ engineers have judged the balances very accurately between both soloists and the orchestra, while the occasional opacity at the climaxes of the piano concerto seems more a function of the heavy scoring than a suggestion of technical inadequacy. A fine disc.



Affiliates  |  Classical Points  |  Press Room  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy

ClassicsOnline Newsletter Archive

Monthly Features on ClassicsOnline

Why choose ClassicsOnline?
ClassicsOnline is your source for classical music new releases, rare catalog, historical recordings and exclusive bargains. Our vast classical music catalog has over 1 Million tracks from more than 50,000 albums available in DRM-free MP3 (320kbps) and FLAC (lossless format). More than 500 new albums are added each month, all of which are carefully indexed, and searchable by Composer, Artist, Work and Label. Membership is free, and registration includes 5 free tracks for download. Get a free track every week and gain access to exclusive classical deals when you subscribe to our newsletter. ClassicsOnline was honored in 2010 as the Best Classical Download Site by the MIDEM Classical Awards Jury.

Some titles may not be available in all countries because of possible copyright or licensing restrictions.

Copyright © 2015 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved. – Your Classical Music Download Source
1:25:21 PM Thursday, September 03, 2015  -211-
This site is now closed, but it has been replaced with our exciting new service ClassicsOnline HD•LL.   x
Continue to buy your downloads at our new store, which now offers all content in lossless CD quality  
formats, in addition to MP3, and thousands of high-definition titles. To learn more, click here.  
Note that previously registered customers may still login to view their accounts until further notice.  

ClassicsOnline customers will not be able to use their log in to access the new HD site. Please create a new ClassicsOnline HD•LL account to download albums, subscribe to streaming, create playlists and more!