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

Composer(s):Rorem, Ned
Artist(s)
Genre Classical Music
Category Concertos
Catalogue 8.559315
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
 
MP3
USD 6.99
 

 


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

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Review By Robert Reilly,InsideCatholic.com,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


8.559315_FonoForum_06-2008.pdf


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 ,Playbillarts.com,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,ClassicsToday.com,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.

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