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Dacapo - The National Music Anthology of Denmark

Format:  CD

Catalogue Number:  8.226110

Barcode:  636943611029

Release month:  May 2016

Period:  21st Century


CHRISTOPHER ROUSE: Odna Zhizn · Symfoni nr. 3 & 4 · Prospero's Rooms

06 December 2016  NPR Music
Mark Mobley

In addition to being a compulsively listenable album, this collection of symphonies and shorter works by one of America's leading composers captures a fruitful collaboration any leading orchestra could aspire to emulate. Christopher Rouse served as composer in residence during the forward-looking tenure of New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert, who is in his final season. In this recording, Gilbert and the orchestra seem almost purpose-built for Rouse's muscular, evocative music. Among the works Rouse created for the ensemble is Prospero's Rooms, an imaginative musical fantasy on Edgar Allen Poe's Masque of the Red Death. Working his way through the variously colored rooms of Poe's tale, Rouse captures the author's eerie strangeness with powerful poetry of his own in a spooky thrill ride. Odna Zhizn (A Life), premiered by the orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 2010, is in some ways its opposite — a radiant love letter to his wife, Natasha, who faced down real-life horrors as a child. And the two symphonies, the Third and Fourth, make a strong case for the continued vitality of the form. They are each under a half hour in length, but dense with ideas, rhythm and color.

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