CHRISTOPHER ROUSE: Odna Zhizn · Symfoni nr. 3 & 4 · Prospero's Rooms
22 December 2016
NPR Music (T. Huizenga)
Altstaedt's Bach was my kick butt "rocker" in a year where I was drawn to darker, moodier territory. Enter Christopher Rouse, who says he used to be typecast as the "gloom and doom" composer.
While tenebrous spaces pervade much of the music (two symphonies and two shorter works) on Rouse's album, there's unbridled splendor in hearing what a modern orchestra, revving on all cylinders, is capable of. Alan Gilbert inspires arresting detail and energy from the New York Philharmonic in the more harrowing passages of Odna Zhizn (A Life), a portrait of his wife's troubled childhood, and in the colorful outbursts of Prospero's Rooms, based on Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death.