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ROCHBERG: Violin Concerto

Composer(s):Rochberg, George
Artist(s) Lyndon-Gee, Christopher, Conductor • Saarbrucken Radio Symphony OrchestraSheppard Skaerved, Peter, violin
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Concertos
Catalogue 8.559129
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

The Violin Concerto is at one and the same time George Rochberg’s most widely performed and least known work, since it was heavily cut in the “Stern version” played and recorded in the 1970s. Here, restored to the composer’s wishes, the score’s primaeval vision of the fate of man trapped in a neutral, unaware universe is powerfully reasserted in music that stretches from anguish and anger, to lyricism and an ending of unsurpassed tranquillity and transcendence.


Review By John von Rhein,Chicago Tribune,

"This pair of Naxos releases restores to circulation two large-scale symphonic works from the 1970s and '80s by George Rochberg, one of America's most honored living composers. Both the Violin Concerto and Fifth Symphony are post-modernist works that mirror his late conversion to a style that draws on a complex of musical languages, including tonality and atonality.


Review By Bob McQuiston,,July 2004

Magnificently performed here, this concerto is a masterpiece, which everyone interested in 20th century music should hear. George Rochberg's style is highly individual and very appealing because he skillfully contrasts cerebrally dodecaphonic elements with emotionally charged, tonal ones. In this work the violin could almost be considered a voice crying in some corner of the cosmos, maybe somewhat like the interrogatory trumpet in Charles Ives's "Unanswered Question." With Rochberg's help the conductor made this restoration/revision and it certainly eclipses the abridged version done for and recorded by Isaac Stern a few years back. This is definitely a case where bigger is better!


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