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ROREM: Double Concerto / After Reading Shakespeare

Composer(s):Rorem, Ned
Genre Classical Music
Category ConcertosInstrumental
Catalogue 8.559316
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

Ned Rorem's life, as his diaries have revealed, has been unconventional, but his music is conceived largely in accordance with traditional, tonal norms, treated with originality and immense inventiveness. He has had a long acquaintance with both Sharon Robinson and Jaime Laredo, the soloists on this disc, of whom he says “...gradually they came to exemplify for me the ideal string players.” Having already created works for both of them individually, Rorem felt they would make an ideal team, which resulted in the Double Concerto. Rorem suggests that the two instruments “are born on stage, emerging from the womb of the orchestra.” After Reading Shakespeare for solo cello is a refutation of the notion that a rich-sounding string instrument such as


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Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Ned Rorem’s Concerto for Violin and Cello has a sobriquet for each of its attractively diverse movements. After the introductory, slightly pungent ‘Morning’, ‘Looking’ centres on the solo violin alternating with the brass. ‘Conversation at Midnight’, the centerpiece, frames a concertante dialogue plus a string chorale with a livelier central section, and the finale takes off brilliantly and briefly into ‘Flight’. The nine sections of After Reading Shakespeare for solo cello are indeed Shakespearean, all named after famous characters in the Bard’s plays. Lear is perhaps the most important, as he gets two sections, while Iago and Othello have to share, if not in the most friendly fashion.


Review By Susan Pierotti,Stringendo,December 2007

After a long and close collaboration with Joachim and Hausmann, Brahms was inspired to write his concerto for violin and cello. Similarly, rorem’s association with Laredo and Robinson has borne fruit in the same musical genre. Rorem’s style shows elements of French influences and polytonality and he handles the orchestration with a fine touch. The emotional heart is the 14-minute slow movement, which reaches the climax in huge expansive melodic lines. Laredo and Robinson work as a well-knit team, each one’s sound growing out of the other’s, and their ensemble playing and rubato in the cadenza are astonishing. The other item on this CD is a solo cello piece written especially for Robinson. She is an exuberant and expressive player with a solid


Review By William Yeoman,Limelight Magazine,March 2007

Rorem wrote the Double Concerto in 1998 for long-time friends Jamie Laredo and Sharon Robinson, together with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. The same soloists, but with the IRIS Orchestra under Michael Stern, appear on this recording…both soloists sing, soar and clash swords against a superbly scored orchestral backdrop, conducted with precision and verve by Stern. Rorem’s solo cello suite After Reading Shakespeare provides an intriguing postlude. “I realized that here was a perfect performance”, said Rorem of this recording of the Double Concerto. It’s hard to argue.


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