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FLAGELLO: Missa Sinfonica / ROSNER: Symphony No. 5

Composer(s):Flagello, NicolasRosner, Arnold
Artist(s) Williams, John McLaughlin, Conductor • Ukraine National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period(s) 20th CenturyContemporary
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.559347
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
 
CD
USD 9.99
 

 
MP3
USD 6.99
 

 


This disc brings together the first recordings of two symphonic Masses, orchestral works (without chorus) inspired by and structured according to the Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Mass. Both composers, one Roman Catholic (Flagello), the other Jewish (Rosner), were in their late twenties when they wrote their respective works, and both have pursued and aesthetic orientation that would generally be termed “neo-romantic”. However, while the two works are comparable in concept and dimension, they are dramatically different in musical style and impact (although the same traditional plainchant appears in the Gloria of each work).


   




Review By Bret Johnson,Tempo Magazine,July 2008

During his time spent in Rome Flagello recorded a number of his orchestral works on the now defunct Serenus LP label, but one major piece which did not figure at that time was the 1957 Missa Sinfónica. Cast in the form of an orchestral mass without singers, the piece is much more than a mere set of reflections and approaches the sort of style found in Howard Hanson’s Sinfonía Sacra. Although Flagello uses Gregorian plainchant, the liturgical connotations are well and truly subordinated to the composer’s emotional and personal language. Again what impresses is the natural flow and Respighian orchestral brilliance, especially in the Gloria. Inevitably, in the insecure and unsettled musical world of the late 1950s, the work was totally

Arnold Rosner (b. 1945) has continued these traditions, but in a rather less ‘verismo’ fashion. His music draws more overtly on neo-baroque and renaissance idioms and early polyphony, and his contemporary language is studded with archaisms and occasional Near—and Middle-Eastern modal inflexions. A prolific composer of over 120 works, he was an early disciple of Alan Hovhaness, some of whose stylistic influence can be heard in his 40-minute Fifth Symphony of 1975 (listen to the first movement with its echoes of Mysterious Mountain)…Like Flagello, Rosner possesses a strong and instantly recognizable musical personality. The structure of the Roman Catholic Mass and the abundance of plainchant provide a fertile soil for his lively imagination. This finds full voice in the triumphant Gloria, but the Sanctus is equally satisfying: the serene harp accompaniment in the hymn-like sections reminding one of RVW (Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus)as well as Langlais’s Messe Solenelle. These really are two wonderful (and extremely well filled) discs with good all round performances. Rosner deserves to be better known, and maybe this release will lead to recordings of other orchestral works of brilliance such as his Mylai Elegy (1971).

more....


Review By Bret Johnson,Tempo Magazine,July 2008

During his time spent in Rome Flagello recorded a number of his orchestral works on the now defunct Serenus LP label, but one major piece which did not figure at that time was the 1957 Missa Sinfónica. Cast in the form of an orchestral mass without singers, the piece is much more than a mere set of reflections and approaches the sort of style found in Howard Hanson’s Sinfonía Sacra. Although Flagello uses Gregorian plainchant, the liturgical connotations are well and truly subordinated to the composer’s emotional and personal language. Again what impresses is the natural flow and Respighian orchestral brilliance, especially in the Gloria. Inevitably, in the insecure and unsettled musical world of the late 1950s, the work was totally

Arnold Rosner (b. 1945) has continued these traditions, but in a rather less ‘verismo’ fashion. His music draws more overtly on neo-baroque and renaissance idioms and early polyphony, and his contemporary language is studded with archaisms and occasional Near—and Middle-Eastern modal inflexions. A prolific composer of over 120 works, he was an early disciple of Alan Hovhaness, some of whose stylistic influence can be heard in his 40-minute Fifth Symphony of 1975 (listen to the first movement with its echoes of Mysterious Mountain)…Like Flagello, Rosner possesses a strong and instantly recognizable musical personality. The structure of the Roman Catholic Mass and the abundance of plainchant provide a fertile soil for his lively imagination. This finds full voice in the triumphant Gloria, but the Sanctus is equally satisfying: the serene harp accompaniment in the hymn-like sections reminding one of RVW (Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus)as well as Langlais’s Messe Solenelle. These really are two wonderful (and extremely well filled) discs with good all round performances. Rosner deserves to be better known, and maybe this release will lead to recordings of other orchestral works of brilliance such as his Mylai Elegy (1971).

more....

Review By Gilles Quentel,Naxos,April 2008

Naxos meets two composers unfamiliar in our countries, but that there will be more to discover: Arnold Rosner importantly, the very personal meaning melodic and the orchestra rutilant are really beautiful. A great moment of pure musical hedonism.

The American composers have, for the most part, kept away from modernist quarrels of their colleagues across the Atlantic. They have allowed all experiments outside the ideological cades, all explorations sound, but also all the conservatism around the charismatic figure of Copland synthétisait which alone the spirit of American music in all its dimensions.

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Review By Robert R. Reilly,InsideCatholic.com,February 2008

Last month, I began talking about modern American classical music. The impetus was the new releases in the stellar Naxos American Classics series, as well as some other new CDs of American music. As I said, I doubt that many readers will have heard of many of the composers. I spent most of the column on the reasons why: the consequences of what happened to music in the 20th century when it eviscerated tonality, and turned off audiences. That struggle is over; tonality has triumphed, and with it melody.


 

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