Author Topic: Christopher Rouse  (Read 14545 times)

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Offline Brewski

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #40 on: September 25, 2013, 06:51:57 AM »
Another vote for Rotae Passionis, which I've heard twice live (by two different groups) - haven't heard the recording above.

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #41 on: September 25, 2013, 07:14:52 AM »
Thanks!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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kyjo

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2013, 10:28:26 AM »
Rouse enthusiasts: indulge me, and keep it short and sweet... Designate the three works which Make the Case. Just pow-pow-pow, three.

I don't want a list of 15 pieces you think well of. I want three signal successes. Go.

I would recommend this stellar Telarc disc as a starting point to explore Rouse's output, Karl:



The Flute Concerto is Rouse's best work IMO, and its slow movement (Elegy) alone is a masterpiece. This tragic, heartfelt movement is unlike anything else in Rouse's output in its heightened emotional intensity. The other movements are excellent as well, but the Elegy really deserves special mention: http://youtu.be/YF3_2ZzmLlE

The other two works are more typical, Rouseian crash-and-bang types of pieces than the Flute Concerto, but they're exciting, moody works no doubt. The outer movements of Symphony no. 2 are angry and defiant, while the slow movement, while not as heartbreaking as that of the Flute Concerto, is a moving creation: http://youtu.be/C0tYsOoHD6s

Phaeton, in its manic percussive outbursts and demonic cutting rhythms, should appeal to those who like their Rite of Spring. Rouse is a highly effective orchestrator and it shows in this work: http://youtu.be/loBE5_PrHAo

Hope this helps, Karl! :)


Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2013, 10:35:27 AM »
Thanks, Kyle!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2013, 10:37:19 AM »

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #45 on: September 25, 2013, 11:01:40 AM »
Quote
Flute Concerto
 
Program Note by the Composer

Although no universal credence for the Jungian concept of "genetic memory" exists, for me it seems a profoundly viable notion. Although both of my parents' families immigrated to America well before the Revolutionary War, I nonetheless still feel a deep ancestral tug of recognition whenever I am exposed to the arts and traditions of the British Isles, particularly those of Celtic origin.

I have attempted to reflect my responses to these stimuli in my flute concerto, a five-movement work cast in a somewhat loose arch form. The first and last movements bear the title "Amhrán" (Gaelic for "song") and are simple melodic elaborations for the solo flute over the accompaniment of orchestral strings. They were intended in a general way to evoke the traditions of Celtic, especially Irish, folk music but to couch the musical utterance in what I hoped would seem a more spiritual, even metaphysical, maner through the use of extremely slow tempi, perhaps not unlike some of the recordings of the Irish singer Enya.

The second and fourth movements are both fast in tempo. The second is a rather sprightly march which shares some of its material with the fourth, a scherzo which refers more and more as it progresses to that most Irish of dances, the jig. However, by the time the jig is stated in its most obvious form, the tempo has increased to the point that the music seems almost frantic and breathless in nature.

In a world of daily horrors too numerous and enormous to comprehend en masse, it seems that only isolated, individual tragedies serve to sensitize us to the potential harm man can do to his fellow. For me, one such instance was the abduction and brutal murder of the two-year old English lad James Bulger at the hands of a pair of ten-year old boys. I followed this case closely during the time I was composing my concerto and was unable to shake the horror of these events from my mind. The central movement of this work is an elegy dedicated to James Bulger's memory, a small token of remembrance for a life senselessly and cruelly snuffed out.

I completed my flute concerto in Fairport, New York on August 15, 1993, and it was composed through a joint commission from Richard and Jody Nordlof (for Carol Wincenc) and Borders Inc. (for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra). Its duration is approximately twenty-three minutes.

The orchestra required for the concerto's performance consists of three flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons (2nd doubling on contrabassoon), four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, harp, timpani, percussion (three players), and strings. The percussion contingent consists of glockenspiel, xylophone, chimes, vibraphone, suspended cymbal, a pair of crash cymbals, rute, sandpaper blocks, tam-tam, tenor drum, snare drum, bass drum, and tambourine.

Christopher Rouse

© 1993 by Christopher Rouse
These program notes can be reproduced free of charge with the following credit:
Reprinted by kind permission of Christopher Rouse
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline lescamil

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #46 on: September 25, 2013, 11:22:03 AM »
You really think the Flute Concerto is Rouse's best work, kyjo? In my opinion, it's one of the middle of the road (leaning toward the bottom end) works of Rouse. Yes, the odd numbered movements show off his gift for heartfelt melodic invention, but the quicker sections totally lack the momentum you hear in his more characteristic quicker works. The more melodic movements don't really leave me feeling sympathetic to his aims in the work, either. The Symphony No. 2 from that Teldec disk is a real masterpiece, however. The middle movement is the antithesis of the Flute Concerto's Elegy. It shows his feelings toward Stephen Albert's death, a composer that was a great friend of his. It comes as a shocking event that changes the rest of the symphony. You can almost feel Rouse's anger and anguish at losing his friend.


I'll take a stab and say what three pieces of his I would choose as his greatest successes: Symphony No. 1, Trombone Concerto, and Phantasmata.

Phantasmata is the earliest work here, and it is perhaps the most successful of Rouse's less serious works. The first movement serves as a sort of quiet, atmospheric, otherworldly prelude to the other two movements, which are able to be performed alone. The second movement, The Infernal Machine, is a cheeky perpetuum mobile that shows off lots of rhythmic and textural invention. The last movement, Bump, was described by Rouse as a sort of "conga line in hell" because of the ever-present bass drum hit on beat 4.

The Symphony No. 1 is a one movement symphony that definitely shows off Rouse's love for the famous symphonists, and for his love of those composers that wrote great adagios, such Shostakovich, Sibelius, Hartmann, Pettersson, and Schuman (he cites them in his program notes). One can even hear a choir of Wagner tubas in certain parts of the work, as one would hear with Bruckner. There's also a fugato on the DSCH theme near the beginning. Toward the climax of the work (the biggest one, for there are a few), he even uses a Mahler hammer to punctuate it. There are some great chorale-like passages that show off some interesting harmonies and his gift for melody. However, it's a tragic work through and through, and it ends without a shred of optimism.

The Trombone Concerto is the work that won him his Pulitzer, and it was written in memory of Leonard Bernstein. There is a definite air of sadness in the outer movements, and he even quotes part of the Kaddish Symphony in the third movement. The very fast second movement is stereotypical Rouse, with percussion and lots of loud orchestral interjections. The trombone part is very acrobatic and virtuosic here, and the movement ends with 4 hammer blows. The third movement brings back some melodic material from the second movement, only slower and more passionate, and it closes the concerto much like how it began.
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kyjo

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #47 on: September 25, 2013, 11:43:13 AM »
You really think the Flute Concerto is Rouse's best work, kyjo? In my opinion, it's one of the middle of the road (leaning toward the bottom end) works of Rouse. Yes, the odd numbered movements show off his gift for heartfelt melodic invention, but the quicker sections totally lack the momentum you hear in his more characteristic quicker works. The more melodic movements don't really leave me feeling sympathetic to his aims in the work, either. The Symphony No. 2 from that Teldec disk is a real masterpiece, however. The middle movement is the antithesis of the Flute Concerto's Elegy. It shows his feelings toward Stephen Albert's death, a composer that was a great friend of his. It comes as a shocking event that changes the rest of the symphony. You can almost feel Rouse's anger and anguish at losing his friend.


I'll take a stab and say what three pieces of his I would choose as his greatest successes: Symphony No. 1, Trombone Concerto, and Phantasmata.

Phantasmata is the earliest work here, and it is perhaps the most successful of Rouse's less serious works. The first movement serves as a sort of quiet, atmospheric, otherworldly prelude to the other two movements, which are able to be performed alone. The second movement, The Infernal Machine, is a cheeky perpetuum mobile that shows off lots of rhythmic and textural invention. The last movement, Bump, was described by Rouse as a sort of "conga line in hell" because of the ever-present bass drum hit on beat 4.

The Symphony No. 1 is a one movement symphony that definitely shows off Rouse's love for the famous symphonists, and for his love of those composers that wrote great adagios, such Shostakovich, Sibelius, Hartmann, Pettersson, and Schuman (he cites them in his program notes). One can even hear a choir of Wagner tubas in certain parts of the work, as one would hear with Bruckner. There's also a fugato on the DSCH theme near the beginning. Toward the climax of the work (the biggest one, for there are a few), he even uses a Mahler hammer to punctuate it. There are some great chorale-like passages that show off some interesting harmonies and his gift for melody. However, it's a tragic work through and through, and it ends without a shred of optimism.

The Trombone Concerto is the work that won him his Pulitzer, and it was written in memory of Leonard Bernstein. There is a definite air of sadness in the outer movements, and he even quotes part of the Kaddish Symphony in the third movement. The very fast second movement is stereotypical Rouse, with percussion and lots of loud orchestral interjections. The trombone part is very acrobatic and virtuosic here, and the movement ends with 4 hammer blows. The third movement brings back some melodic material from the second movement, only slower and more passionate, and it closes the concerto much like how it began.

Yes, I do think it's his best work (though not by a long shot), but each to his own. :) Nice descriptions of those works BTW. I should've mentioned Symphony no. 1 in my previous post. A powerful work indeed!

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #48 on: September 25, 2013, 01:06:14 PM »
Designate the three works which Make the Case. Just pow-pow-pow, three.

I'd go with the Trombone Concerto, 2nd Symphony, and the already-endorsed Rotae Passionis.
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Offline Daverz

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #49 on: September 25, 2013, 01:29:25 PM »
Warning: the Symphony No. 2 is REALLY LOUD.  If you set a "realistic" volume at the beginning, you'll be blown across the room by the drums.  Unfortunately this means that I can't play this work very often if I want to maintain good relations with the neighbors.

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #50 on: September 25, 2013, 01:54:43 PM »
If you list more than three pieces, I ain't reading the post >:D

Sorry I'm late...

Karolju, Flute Concerto and Karolju.  :D

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #51 on: September 25, 2013, 02:43:19 PM »
Sorry I'm late...

Karolju, Flute Concerto and Karolju.  :D

Karolju is a really spirited work. I listen to it every Christmas and it's a great alternative to the traditional carols.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #52 on: September 25, 2013, 03:22:48 PM »
Thank you all!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline lescamil

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #53 on: September 25, 2013, 04:22:54 PM »
Warning: the Symphony No. 2 is REALLY LOUD.  If you set a "realistic" volume at the beginning, you'll be blown across the room by the drums.  Unfortunately this means that I can't play this work very often if I want to maintain good relations with the neighbors.

Rouse's Gorgon is a bit louder than the Symphony No. 2, and the Symphony No. 1 has a few moments that are louder as well. The Cello Concerto's first movement is also a bit louder. There's one moment near the middle that will scare you if you don't know it's coming.

Also, agreed on Karolju. I typically hate Christmas music, but for this I will make an exception. It's a neat idea, and it isn't the typical Rouse that will send you flying across the room.
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #54 on: May 29, 2014, 05:24:36 PM »
finally, the 3rd Symphony

Tonight, I listened to bits & pieces of the brand new 3rd Symphony, in a radio broadcast of what I assume was its first performance, NYPO under Gilbert. What was interesting is that I switched the radio on, and didn't know what it was until they announced it at the end. So I was coming to it cold, as it were.

My first impressions were 1. wow, this is noisy as hell; 2. that's good, because it's also exciting, but sometimes that's not so good, because the music sounds too congested at times; 3. this slow movement sounds like a cool updating of Prokofiev or some similar composer.

It does sound like Rouse has resurrected his older self ("crush the audience with my powerful rock-influenced sonics") for this one. Which may be a good thing, but I have to hear it complete, under better conditions, to really know.
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snyprrr

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #55 on: May 29, 2014, 05:41:21 PM »
finally, the 3rd Symphony

Tonight, I listened to bits & pieces of the brand new 3rd Symphony, in a radio broadcast of what I assume was its first performance, NYPO under Gilbert. What was interesting is that I switched the radio on, and didn't know what it was until they announced it at the end. So I was coming to it cold, as it were.

My first impressions were 1. wow, this is noisy as hell; 2. that's good, because it's also exciting, but sometimes that's not so good, because the music sounds too congested at times; 3. this slow movement sounds like a cool updating of Prokofiev or some similar composer.

It does sound like Rouse has resurrected his older self ("crush the audience with my powerful rock-influenced sonics") for this one. Which may be a good thing, but I have to hear it complete, under better conditions, to really know.

ugh, I felt some heartbreak with your "noisy as hell" because that's exactly the phrase I would use to denote what drain me concerning Rouse, and similar proponents of a hyper-Petterssonian cacophony in the name of, I suppose, Romantic Expressionism. I mean, does Ferneyhough come off as "noisy as hell"? Surely there is a Complexity that does not end in these... assualts. It's just so 1993, 1983-6... 1979... when was the last time (Schnittke?) someone was allowed to get away with this? I recall the very first climax (early on) in Schnittke's 1st Cello Concerto, and it last for just a few moments, and he moves on to something else- it returns (and, there IS "noise" in Schnittke, but more controlled than Rouse I'm sure), but Schnittke seems to do the "crash bang" thing a bit better than Rouse? Sometimes (lately) I can grow weary of Pettersson, who must be in Rouse's fondness (I'm almost absolutely sure of it).

I've always WANTED to like Rouse's music. Sold him a CD once.

I'd like to sample the Trombone Concerto. (and then just call it)

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #56 on: May 29, 2014, 05:46:10 PM »

I'd like to sample the Trombone Concerto. (and then just call it)

Sample the whole piece. It's noise-ingly awesome! 

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #57 on: May 29, 2014, 06:16:22 PM »
Found a review. Turns out this wasn't the world premiere. Probably the NY premiere. And my suspicion about Prokofiev was correct:

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/classicalmusic/2012/11/bso_gives_east_coast_premiere.html

Sometimes (lately) I can grow weary of Pettersson, who must be in Rouse's fondness (I'm almost absolutely sure of it).

I believe Rouse has cited Pettersson as an influence. The problem for me, when you cite Pettersson as an influence, is that you'd better have something like AP's crappy life experiences and adversities to make his style work. Otherwise, you're just fakin' it.
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snyprrr

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #58 on: May 29, 2014, 06:33:47 PM »
Found a review. Turns out this wasn't the world premiere. Probably the NY premiere. And my suspicion about Prokofiev was correct:

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/classicalmusic/2012/11/bso_gives_east_coast_premiere.html

I believe Rouse has cited Pettersson as an influence. The problem for me, when you cite Pettersson as an influence, is that you'd better have something like AP's crappy life experiences and adversities to make his style work. Otherwise, you're just fakin' it.

mmmmmm $:) :-*

Offline Brian

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Re: Christopher Rouse
« Reply #59 on: November 23, 2014, 08:26:07 PM »
Here is BIS CEO Robert von Bahr talking about the Flute Concerto:

"OK, time for a personal confession. When I was laid up on the cut-up table for an operation for pancreatic cancer (which, after the very extensive operation, it was ascertained that I didn't have in the first place...) I had negotiated with the doctors' team that I was allowed to listen to something when they put me under - against regulations - this because the operation itself was quite risky and I was stubborn. So I chose the Christopher Rouse Flute Concerto, played by my wife, Sharon Bezaly, the Royal Stockholm PO under Alan Gilbert as the piece I wanted to be the last thing I heard, should I not wake up. In a similar situation I would still choose that piece, a requiem over a small British boy that was tortured to death by two other small boys - a horrible thing. The music is simply fantastic and something I would urge anyone to really listen to, but with closed eyes and mobiles turned off. Music at its very best."