Challenging and rewarding
This is fascinating, involving music from a unique and important composer. Rochberg was a 12-tone ideologue before personal tragedy moved him into a highly expressive idiom. His music makes use of whatever means and style is the one he needs at that moment, but it's not pastiche. You hear his skill, craft, the tradition of classical music that came before, and especially his emotional power and urgency. This work is long, involved and involving, not for background listening. It is an existential exploration of the human ability to persevere in trying times; the music is forceful, unsettling, beautiful and satisfying in turns. Rochberg synthesized a vast body of ideas about life and art, combined them with his great skill as a composer and focussed taste as an artist, and made compelling piece. This is music that is challenging but not daunting and an involving, deeply rewarding experience.
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