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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » R » Rochberg, George



 Update me on new releases by Rochberg

George Rochberg (01/01/1918 - 01/01/2005)

The key that will open George Rochberg’s music to the willing, the curious, but especially to the “innocent” ear lies not in the conventional wisdom that declares him the first “post-modernist” for his openness to a complex mix of musical languages, but rather in seeking to enter the composer’s extraordinary understanding of the nature of time. As long ago as 1963, Rochberg, in The New Image of Music, wrote that the successive revolutions of twelve-tone composition and of the post-war avant-garde had brought about a liberation that “permits sounds to create their own context”. This liberation of sound from tonal harmonic functions, led to “the overthrow of a long-dominant temporal structure”; to a world in which conglomerates of pure sound are able to interact in ways that are not necessarily hidebound by structural considerations. “Subjective man,” writes Rochberg, “views existence as change; himself and his history at the center of a process of becoming... Subjective man cannot transcend time; he is trapped in it. However, when man seizes on the present moment of existence as the only ‘real’ time, he spatializes his existence; that is, he fills his present with objects that take on … a state of permanence.” Thus did the composer allow broader means of expression to be added to his vocabulary, constantly enlarging it, making possible what he later came to call an “all-at-once world”.

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Discography


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Prokofiev Symphonies 1 & 2



 

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