Author Topic: Ned Rorem (1923 -)  (Read 7291 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -)
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2013, 06:15:53 PM »
Wow!  Hard to believe that Ned Rorem, whose image on records in the 1960's always seemed to involve a black turtle-neck sweater, will be 90 this year!  ??? ??? ???

I gave his music a chance back then, and just found little to nothing there for me: however, I do recall critics back then saying that his songs were exquisite.

Yes, he's more known for his songs than anything else in his oeuvre. I revisited the symphonies a week or so ago and found them to be pretty good, but nothing really unique or different about them for me to give them another listen any time soon. I've had better luck with his concerti though.
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

snyprrr

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -)
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2013, 07:40:16 AM »
Yes, he's more known for his songs than anything else in his oeuvre. I revisited the symphonies a week or so ago and found them to be pretty good, but nothing really unique or different about them for me to give them another listen any time soon. I've had better luck with his concerti though.

ok, so you like the Concertos better? Violin, Violin & Cello,... what do you recommend. The VC was also on DG.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -)
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2013, 08:16:43 AM »
ok, so you like the Concertos better? Violin, Violin & Cello,... what do you recommend. The VC was also on DG.

I like his Piano Concerto No. 2 probably the best with the Violin Concerto coming in second. I need to listen to the ones for cello, flute, and the Double Concerto again.
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -)
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2013, 03:57:20 AM »
Yes, he's more known for his songs than anything else in his oeuvre. I revisited the symphonies a week or so ago and found them to be pretty good, but nothing really unique or different about them for me to give them another listen any time soon. I've had better luck with his concerti though.
That was my reaction! Not bad,but a bit a bland.

As to the black turtle-neck sweater! Better him than me!!

snyprrr

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -)
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2013, 08:12:04 AM »
After,... uh..., exhaustive study,... I found these recordings interesting and cheap:

Piano Concerto for the Left-Hand (NewWorld)

Symphony for Strings/Eagles (NewWorld)

Winter Pages/Bright Music (NewWorld)

I look forward to hearing them. I also noticed that the entire Rorem/Naxos catalog was already in a Box! He's got quite a little bit of Orchestral Music there.


So, I'm wondering about these works:

1) works for Violin+Piano

2) The 3 Piano Trios (including the Beaux Arts performance)

3) Piano Music (3 Sonatas, Barcarolle,...)

I like the three cds I got. Kind of anonymously Modern, but in a good, listenable way. Very clean. If I need something not too much, this will do.

I think the Symphony for Strings was the biggest piece here, and it sounds like a lot of other Modern String Symphonies, with Shaw and Atlanta, so, it's quite pleasing in its own way.

oy... I'm not awake here...

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -)
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2013, 08:20:58 AM »
That was my reaction! Not bad,but a bit a bland.

As to the black turtle-neck sweater! Better him than me!!

Yeah, I think his concerti exhibit more of an individual voice. I have yet to hear any of his chamber works.
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

snyprrr

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -) UGH VEY!!
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2016, 03:38:30 PM »
I like the three cds I got. Kind of anonymously Modern, but in a good, listenable way. Very clean. If I need something not too much, this will do.

I think the Symphony for Strings was the biggest piece here, and it sounds like a lot of other Modern String Symphonies, with Shaw and Atlanta, so, it's quite pleasing in its own way.

oy... I'm not awake here...

ok, three years later and the same three discs are getting a big zzzZZZzzz....zzzZZZzzzz... outta me today. Oy!! this stuff is just fruity dandy music, too emotional, just so stereotypical of the source- post-Boulangerie drivel from fawning sycophants...

'Bright Music' isn't so offensive, but it is soooo inoffensive as to be somewhat. But it's all stuff that I'm eager to discard- to evacuate the bowels of my Library- of this seemingly pandering musics.

I'm putting on the last now, the Left-Hand Concerto and '11 Studies'...

ok- Concerto is much nicer...

ok, enough...

Offline Rons_talking

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -)
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2016, 05:38:25 AM »
I got to know Rorem through reading his diaries as an undergraduate. As petty, self-indulgent and francocentric as they are, he writes beautifully about music. "Setting the Tone" is his book on modern music and is both fascinating and readable for anyone. His Piano and Cello Concerti are works that attracted me initially. Recently, I heard his first piano sonata and was very moved by the first movement. He knows his craft and is sometimes inspired, but there is too much sludge in his output to make me a true fan. But in that sludge there are diamonds that pop up from time to time.

Offline Rons_talking

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -)
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2016, 09:25:16 AM »
First of all, I can't believe Rorem has made it to 92 years of age, given all of his documented misadventures of youth. Second, I just read that his first two symphonies were not recorded for 40 years after their premiers. That's hard for me to imagine; not that they are masterpieces, but they have a nice lyrical energy a la Copland (though there's only one Copland) that many works composed in the 1950s lack. It's my feeling that listeners are too quick to dismiss the music as "bland" or "derivative" without listening for the clever way he expands his materials. Perhaps they were simply composed too late, but during those decades where people were lamenting the loss of lyricism and tonality in modern music (by the late 50s Stravinsky, Copland, Schuman, Piston and even Diamond had gone largely atonal) it would seem these works deserved to be heard. I'm now listening to the 3rd and while a tad naive, to me it's really a colorful, lyrical, and inspired work.

Offline Scion7

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -)
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2016, 11:47:38 AM »
Ned Rorem
redrum
Ned Rorem
redrum

 ;)
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -)
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2016, 12:43:05 PM »
Ok, spooky movie similarities aside, and setting aside the vocal music, he's composed more than a clump of instrumental pieces - I will look into this guy, as I have never even heard of him before.

Though he is best known as a composer of songs, it was an orchestral suite, Air Music (1974), that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1976. His many orchestral works are distinguished by timbral exploration, rhythmic inventiveness and harmonic richness. The Piano Concerto for Left Hand and Orchestra (1993) is notable for its structural ingenuity. The work’s eight movements include an opening and closing passacaglia interspersed with a tarantella, hymn, duet, vignette and medley, fashioned into three larger sections.  -- The Grove

***ORCHESTRAL***
Concertino da camera, hpd, 7 insts, 1946; Pf Conc. no.1, 1948, withdrawn; Pf Conc. no.2, 1950; Sym. no.1, 1950; Design, 1953; Sym. no.2, 1956; Sinfonia, sym. wind orch, 1957; Sym. no.3, 1957–8; Eagles, 1958; Pilgrims, str, 1958; Ideas, 1961; Lions, 1963; Water Music, cl, vn, orch, 1966; Pf Conc. in 6 Movts, 1969; Solemn Prelude, brass, 1973; Air Music, 1974; Assembly and Fall, 1975; Sunday Morning, 1977; Remembering Tommy, vc, pf, orch, 1979; Vn Conc., 1984; Org Conc., 1985; Str Sym., 1985; Frolic (Fanfare), orch, 1986; Fantasy and Polka, 1988; Quaker Reader, orch, 1988; Eng Hn Conc., 1992; Triptych, chbr orch, 1992; Pf Conc. no.4, left hand, orch, 1993; Double Conc., vn, vc, orch, 1998


***CHAMBER MUSIC***
Str Qt no.1, 1947, withdrawn; Mountain Song, fl/ob/vn/vc, pf, 1949; Sonata, vn, pf, 1949; Str Qt no.2, 1950; 11 Studies for 11 Players, 1959–60; Trio, fl, vc, pf, 1960; Lovers, ob, vc, perc, hpd, 1964; Day Music, vn, pf, 1971; Night Music, vn, pf, 1972; Book of Hours, fl, hp, 1975; Sky Music, hp, 1976; Romeo and Juliet, fl, gui, 1977; 3 Slow Pieces, vc, pf, 1978; After Reading Shakespeare, vc, 1980; Suite, gui, 1980; Winter Pages, cl, bn, pf, vn, vc, 1981; Dances, vc, pf, 1983; Picnic on the Marne, waltzes, sax, pf, 1983; End of Summer: Remembrance of Things Past, cl, vn, pf, 1985; Septet ‘Scenes from Childhood’, ob, hn, str qt, pf, 1985; Trio, cl, bn, pf, 1985; Bright Music, fl, 2 vn, vc, pf, 1988; Praising Charles: Fanfare and Flourish, brass, org, 1988; Diversions, hn, 2 tpt, trbn, tuba, 1989; Spring Music, vn, vc, pf, 1991; Str Qt no.3, 1991; Str Qt, no.4, 1995; An Oboe Book, 9 pieces, ob, pf, 1999

***KEYBOARD***
 A Quiet Afternoon, pf, 1948; Pf Sonata no.1, 1948; Toccata, pf, 1948 [Pf Sonata no.1, 4th movt]; Barcarolles, pf, 1949; Pastorale, org, 1949 [transcr. Sym. no.1, 2nd movt]; Pf Sonata no.2, 1949; Sicilienne, 2 pf, 1950; Pf Sonata no.3, 1954; Slow Waltz, pf, 1956; Spiders, hpd, 1968; 8 Etudes, pf, 1975; A Quaker Reader, org, 1976; Views form the Oldest House, suite, org, 1981; Song & Dance, pf, 1986; For Shirley, pf 4 hands, 1989; Organbook I–III, 1989–90; Fantasy and Toccata, org, 1994; 6 Variations, 2 pf, 1995
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline amw

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -)
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2016, 02:35:11 PM »
Perhaps they were simply composed too late, but during those decades where people were lamenting the loss of lyricism and tonality in modern music (by the late 50s Stravinsky, Copland, Schuman, Piston and even Diamond had gone largely atonal) it would seem these works deserved to be heard.
When people complain about the "loss of lyricism and tonality in modern music" (or whatever) it is not because they are actually looking for music that has those things, but rather lamenting the loss of the time when their minds were still open to new experiences and curiosity. It inevitably proves that it is not "modern music" that is the problem—they treat all modern music equally regardless of its lyrical content—but simply that their preferences have become fixed, that they can no longer respond to new (to them) music as strongly as they did twenty or forty or sixty years ago, and though they may be only aware of this subconsciously it has filtered through in this form to the conscious mind.

I don't know the symphonies which is bad because I have a recording of them and I'm sure I listened to it once or twice. He's not derivative; he has a fairly distinct voice, it's just one that takes as given most of the assumptions of the classical tradition and does not tend to interrogate anything critically, which is probably where the accusations come from. I don't think there's anything wrong with that by itself; in general I find Rorem's problem to be an overreliance on a set of musical "tropes" to convey various moods, making numerous songs/movements in larger works resemble each other very closely. There are lots of nice things in his work, though, and it deserves to be revived in small quantities for sure.

snyprrr

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -)
« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2016, 03:01:20 PM »
Ok, spooky movie similarities aside, and setting aside the vocal music, he's composed more than a clump of instrumental pieces - I will look into this guy, as I have never even heard of him before.

Though he is best known as a composer of songs, it was an orchestral suite, Air Music (1974), that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1976. His many orchestral works are distinguished by timbral exploration, rhythmic inventiveness and harmonic richness. The Piano Concerto for Left Hand and Orchestra (1993) is notable for its structural ingenuity. The work’s eight movements include an opening and closing passacaglia interspersed with a tarantella, hymn, duet, vignette and medley, fashioned into three larger sections.  -- The Grove

***ORCHESTRAL***
Concertino da camera, hpd, 7 insts, 1946; Pf Conc. no.1, 1948, withdrawn; Pf Conc. no.2, 1950; Sym. no.1, 1950; Design, 1953; Sym. no.2, 1956; Sinfonia, sym. wind orch, 1957; Sym. no.3, 1957–8; Eagles, 1958; Pilgrims, str, 1958; Ideas, 1961; Lions, 1963; Water Music, cl, vn, orch, 1966; Pf Conc. in 6 Movts, 1969; Solemn Prelude, brass, 1973; Air Music, 1974; Assembly and Fall, 1975; Sunday Morning, 1977; Remembering Tommy, vc, pf, orch, 1979; Vn Conc., 1984; Org Conc., 1985; Str Sym., 1985; Frolic (Fanfare), orch, 1986; Fantasy and Polka, 1988; Quaker Reader, orch, 1988; Eng Hn Conc., 1992; Triptych, chbr orch, 1992; Pf Conc. no.4, left hand, orch, 1993; Double Conc., vn, vc, orch, 1998


***CHAMBER MUSIC***
Str Qt no.1, 1947, withdrawn; Mountain Song, fl/ob/vn/vc, pf, 1949; Sonata, vn, pf, 1949; Str Qt no.2, 1950; 11 Studies for 11 Players, 1959–60; Trio, fl, vc, pf, 1960; Lovers, ob, vc, perc, hpd, 1964; Day Music, vn, pf, 1971; Night Music, vn, pf, 1972; Book of Hours, fl, hp, 1975; Sky Music, hp, 1976; Romeo and Juliet, fl, gui, 1977; 3 Slow Pieces, vc, pf, 1978; After Reading Shakespeare, vc, 1980; Suite, gui, 1980; Winter Pages, cl, bn, pf, vn, vc, 1981; Dances, vc, pf, 1983; Picnic on the Marne, waltzes, sax, pf, 1983; End of Summer: Remembrance of Things Past, cl, vn, pf, 1985; Septet ‘Scenes from Childhood’, ob, hn, str qt, pf, 1985; Trio, cl, bn, pf, 1985; Bright Music, fl, 2 vn, vc, pf, 1988; Praising Charles: Fanfare and Flourish, brass, org, 1988; Diversions, hn, 2 tpt, trbn, tuba, 1989; Spring Music, vn, vc, pf, 1991; Str Qt no.3, 1991; Str Qt, no.4, 1995; An Oboe Book, 9 pieces, ob, pf, 1999

***KEYBOARD***
 A Quiet Afternoon, pf, 1948; Pf Sonata no.1, 1948; Toccata, pf, 1948 [Pf Sonata no.1, 4th movt]; Barcarolles, pf, 1949; Pastorale, org, 1949 [transcr. Sym. no.1, 2nd movt]; Pf Sonata no.2, 1949; Sicilienne, 2 pf, 1950; Pf Sonata no.3, 1954; Slow Waltz, pf, 1956; Spiders, hpd, 1968; 8 Etudes, pf, 1975; A Quaker Reader, org, 1976; Views form the Oldest House, suite, org, 1981; Song & Dance, pf, 1986; For Shirley, pf 4 hands, 1989; Organbook I–III, 1989–90; Fantasy and Toccata, org, 1994; 6 Variations, 2 pf, 1995

Keep us abreast of your growing disappointment! ;)

Offline Scion7

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -)
« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2016, 05:04:07 PM »
Is he VERY inconsistent?  Yes.
Is the majority of his stuff that I've heard pretty ~ ~ eeeehhhh ~ ~ , well, yes.
But there are few pieces here and there that are not quite so monotonous.   :)

He'll never be a fave, tho'.
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

kishnevi

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -)
« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2016, 06:09:17 PM »
I seem to have two CDs with music by Rorem.  I did not dislike them, but neither did I truly like them.   And the Meyer Quintet impressed me far more than the Rorem Quartet that was its coupling.


Offline Rons_talking

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -)
« Reply #35 on: March 29, 2016, 10:59:16 AM »
Keep us abreast of your growing disappointment! ;)

Tough crowd. ;)

Offline Brian

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Re: Ned Rorem (1923 -)
« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2018, 07:04:05 PM »
Today is Ned Rorem's 95th birthday and the New York Times has a fresh new interview for the occasion:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/23/arts/music/ned-rorem-birthday.html

 

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