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GEORGE ROCHBERG

GEORGE ROCHBERG

Awards

Works

Recordings

Reviews


“All human gestures are available to all human beings at any time.” This became George Rochberg’s credo in the years following his famous change of compositional style. Rochberg’s music following this change was, as musicologist Richard Taruskin puts it, “to challenge the whole idea of stylistic obsolescence. And to challenge that idea was to put in question the ‘necessity’ of the twentieth century’s stylistic revolutions—the most sacred of all modernist dogmas.” In Taruskin’s view, Rochberg’s later music does not depend on the “sophisticated irony” that was becoming commonplace in the 1970s and 80s, but rather a “disconcerting sincerity.” In this respect, the music was a parallel of the man who, in the words of Kyle Gann, “exhibited an honesty and courage that transcended all differences of ideology,” and who was seen by many as a highly progressive and revolutionary force who changed forever the face of American music.

From the 1940s until the 60s, Rochberg emerged as one of America’s first and finest serialist composers. He then gradually reassessed his compositional outlook and ultimately embraced composition in tonal styles. It was this turn to a whole-hearted employment of traditionally-oriented tonal possibilities which not only warmed up the musical climate, but also opened the way to greater freedom and latitude in the way composers could express themselves. Rochberg may have been speaking for others as well as himself when he declared serialism “finished, hollow, meaningless…”

The storm center of this change of heart and mind came with the first performance and subsequent recording of his Third String Quartet — a work whose appeal, according to Donal Henahan of the New York Times, lay in its “unfailing formal rigor and old-fashioned musicality. Mr. Rochberg’s quartet is — how did we used to put it? — beautiful.”

Michael Walsh, then with the San Francisco Examiner, expressed the view that “Rochberg’s Third Quartet may come to be seen as the work that defines the attitudes of a generation of composers… What is important about it was that it represented a way out of the maze. The defection of so prominent a serialist could not be ignored by all those young composers who were just developing their styles — composers who are now turning up on programs themselves.”

Following the 1971 Third String Quartet, Rochberg produced new quartets, symphonies, and concertos which added to his prominence in the concert hall. It is a body of work informed throughout by what Rochberg called his “deep concern for the survival of music through a renewal of its humanly expressive qualities.” International recognition came to Rochberg through widespread performance of his works by leading orchestras, conductors and soloists. Many of his works have been recorded, and his music has been the subject of discussion in journals and magazines in America and abroad.

Beginning with the first performances of his Night Music in 1953 by the New York Philharmonic with Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting, other works subsequently achieved major attention, notably the Symphony No. 2 with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra (1959 and 1961); the Oboe Concerto, commissioned for Joseph Robinson and performed by Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic (1984); Symphony No. 5 premiered by Sir Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony (1986); Symphony No. 6, with Lorin Maazel conducting the first performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony (1987) and Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, commissioned for Anthony Gigliotti, principal clarinet, by Wolfgang Sawallisch and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and premiered in 1996. Another important work in Rochberg’s oeuvre is the Violin Concerto, which was first performed by Isaac Stern in America, England and France during the mid-1970s. Several alterations were made to the concerto before these performances and the work’s subsequent recording that departed from the composer’s original vision, and in March 2002 a revised and restored version by Rochberg was premiered by violinist Peter Sheppard-Skaerved and the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Lyndon-Gee, who had been a major and enthusiastic force behind the project. A recording of the concerto as well as a recent release of Symphony No. 1 are available on the Naxos label, part of an on-going project by Lyndon-Gee and Naxos to record all of Rochberg’s orchestral music.

Mr. Rochberg was also an influential writer about music; his seminal book “The Aesthetics of Survival (A Composer’s View of Twentieth-Century Music)” examines the legacy of modernism in music, in relation to tonality, melody and harmony. Originally published in 1984 by University of Michigan Press, it is now in a new, revised and expanded edition (2005). “Eagle Minds” is a recently published (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Waterloo, Ontario) 40-year correspondence between Rochberg and the Canadian composer Istvan Anhalt, two composers with widely diverse points of view. Other writings include his memoir, “Five Lines, Four Spaces,” (University of Illinois Press) and a technical work, “A Dance of Polar Opposites: the Continuing Transformation of our Musical Language.” Many of Mr. Rochberg’s writings, scores, and other memorabilia are on display at the George Rochberg music room, part of the John J. Cali building at Montclair State University.

Born in Paterson, New Jersey, on July 5, 1918, Rochberg began his studies in composition at the Mannes School of Music, and, after serving as an infantry lieutenant in World War II, resumed them at the Curtis Institute of Music. He taught at the Curtis Institute from 1948 to 1954; and in 1960 he joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as a chairman of the Department of Music until 1968. He retired from teaching in 1983 as Emeritus Annenberg Professor of the Humanities.

He married Gene Rosenfeld in 1941, and they had two children, Paul and Francesca. George Rochberg was a long-time resident of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania; he died on May 29th 2005 in Bryn Mawr Hospital with his wife and daughter at his side.

View scores here (roll over to view score title):


Awards


1989-90: "Varieties of the Compositional Experience, George Rochberg at 71," an exhibition of scores, documents, memorabilia by the Music Division of The New York Library, Lincoln Center

1988: Honorary Doctorate, Curtis Institute of Music

1987: Alfred I. du Pont Award for Outstanding Conductors and Composer, Delaware Symphony, Wilmington, Delaware

1987: Andre and Clara Mertens Contemporary Composer Award, Univ. of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, Connecticut

1986: Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

1986: Lancaster Symphony Composers Award

1985: American Academy of Arts and Letters

1985: Gold Medal, Brandeis Creative Arts Award

1985: Honorary Doctorate in Music, Univ. of Pennsylvania

1980: Honorary Doctorate in Music, University of Michigan

1979: Annenberg Professor of Humanities, University of Pennsylvania

1979: First Prize, Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards (for "String Quartet No. 4")

1972: Naumburg Chamber Composition Award (for "String Quartet No. 3")

1966-67: Guggenheim Fellowship

1966: Prix Italia for Lincoln Center, Stage 5 (for "Black Sounds")

1964: Honorary Doctorate in Music, Philadelphia Musical Academy (now the University of the Arts)

1961: Naumburg Recording Award (for "Symphony No. 2")

1959: First Prize, Italian ISCM International Music Competition (for the "Cheltenham Concerto")

1956-57: Guggenheim Fellowship

1956: Society for the Publication of American Music Award (for "String Quartet No. 1")

1952: George Gershwin Memorial Award (for "Night Music")

1950-51: American Academy in Rome Fellowship

1950-51: Fulbright Fellowship


Works

Chamber Ensembles and Instrumental Solos | Chamber Orchestra | Choral and Vocal | Keyboard | Large Orchestra | Opera | Orchestra with Solo Instruments | Prose Writings | Wind Ensemble




Chamber Ensembles and Instrumental Solos


50 Caprice Variations for Violin (1970) -- 62'
Premiere Information: Lewis Kaplan, WBAI "Free Music Store" and live broadcast, New York, April 2, 1970
Available From Galaxy Music Corp. (E.C. Publishing)Reviews


American Bouquet Versions of Popular Music for Solo Guitar (1991) -- 25'
Published: #114-40631
Commission Information: Written for Eliot Fisk.
Recordings


Between Two Worlds (Ukiyo-E III) for Flute and Piano (1982) -- 10'
Published: #414-41159
Commission Information: Lennie and Marvin Wolfgang, for their daughter Karen
Premiere Information: Sue Ann Kahn and Vladimir Sokoloff, Philadelphia, August 19, 1983
Recordings


Chamber Concerto for Solo Guitar
Available From Composer


Concord Quartets (1977-78)
Commission Information: Concord String Quartet
Premiere Information: Concord String Quartet, University of Pennsylvania, January 20, 1979
Reviews

String Quartet No. 4

String Quartet No. 5

String Quartet No. 6


Contra Mortem et Tempus for Violin, Flute, Clarinet and Piano (1965) -- 10'
Published: #114-40116
Commission Information: Aeolian Quartet
Premiere Information: Aeolian Quartet, Bowdoin College, August 18, 1965
Recordings
Reviews


Dialogues for Clarinet and Piano (1956) -- 17'
Published: #414-41023
Commission Information: Koussevitsky Foundation
Premiere Information: Eric Simon, New York, 1956
Recordings


Duo for Oboe and Bassoon (1979) -- 15'
Published: #114-40249
Commission Information: Dedicated to Sol Schoenbach
Additional Information: Revision of original version from 1946 (not available).


Duo Concertante for Violin and Cello (1955-59) -- 14'
Published: #414-41024
Premiere Information: 1956, Philadelphia, PA
Recordings
Reviews


Eden: Out of Time and Out of Space Chamber Concerto for Guitar and Ensemble -- 20'
Available from the Presser Rental Library

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#416-41171)


Electrikaleidoscope for an Amplified Ensemble (1972) -- 20'
Fl. Cl. Vln. Vcl. Pno.(El.Pno.)
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Aeolian Chamber Players
Premiere Information: Aeolian Chamber Players, Town Hall, New York, December 19, 1972
Recordings
Reviews


La Bocca Della Verita for Oboe and Piano
Available From Impero-Verlag (Weisbaden, Germany)


La Bocca Della Verita for Violin and Piano (1962) -- 12'
Published: #514-00256
Premiere Information: Lewis Kaplan and Gilbert Kalish, Philadelphia, 1960
Additional Information: Transcribed from original version for Oboe and Piano.


La Bocca Della Verita Transcription for Violin and Piano
Available From Impero-Verlag (Weisbaden, Germany)


Muse of Fire for Flute and Guitar (1989-90) -- 18'
Published: #114-40594
Commission Information: Carnegie Hall, for Paula Robison
Premiere Information: Paula Robison, flute, Eliot Fisk, guitar, Weill Hall, New York, February 1, 1991


Octet, A Grand Fantasia (1980) -- 23'
Fl. Cl. Hn. Pno. Vln. Vla. Vcl. Cb.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Premiere Information: Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; Tully Hall, April 25, 1980
Recordings


Ora Pro Nobis for Flute and Guitar (1989) -- 12'
Published: #114-40593
Premiere Information: Paula Robison, flute, Eliot Fisk, guitar, Zanesville, Ohio, January 25, 1991


Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello (1983) -- 20'
Published: #114-40414
Commission Information: Frank Taplin
Premiere Information: Library of Congress Summer Festival, June 18, 1985
Recordings
Reviews

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#114-40414P)


Quintet for Piano and String Quartet (1975) -- 48'
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Grant from NEA
Premiere Information: Jerome Lowenthal with Concord String Quartet, Tully Hall, New York, March 15, 1976
Recordings
Reviews

Available Separately:

Score and parts (#416-41103)
Set of parts (#416-41103P)


Rhapsody and Prayer for Violin and Piano (1989) -- 8' 30"
Published: #114-40510
Commission Information: International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, 1990


Ricordanza Soliloquy for Cello and Piano (1972) -- 12'
Published: #114-40179
Premiere Information: Michael Rudiakov, Gardner Museum, Boston, Massachusetts, 1973
Recordings


Serenata d’Estate for Six Instruments (1955) -- 10'
Premiere Information: 1958-59, Arthur Winograd, conductor
Available From MCA Music (Agent: Belwin Mills)


Slow Fires of Autumn (Ukiyo-E II) for Flute and Harp (1978) -- 18'
Published: #114-40245
Commission Information: Naumburg Foundation, for Carol Wincenc
Premiere Information: Carol Wincenc, flute, Tully Hall, New York, April 23, 1979
Recordings


Sonata for Viola and Piano (1979) -- 20'
Published: #114-40246
Commission Information: Brigham Young University and American Viola Society, for William Primrose’s 75th birthday celebration, 7th International Viola Congress
Premiere Information: Joseph de Pasquale, viola, Vladimir Sokoloff, piano, Provo, Utah, July 14, 1979
Recordings
Reviews


Sonata for Violin and Piano (1988) -- 29'
Published: #114-40491
Commission Information: Concert Artists Guild and Music Division, Library of Congress, for Maria Bachmann
Premiere Information: Maria Bachmann, violin, Jon Klibinoff, piano, Pasadena, California, April 10, 1989
Recordings
Reviews


Sonata-Aria for Cello and Piano -- 30'
Published: #114-40720


String Quartet No. 1 (1952) -- 25'
Published: #114-40337S
Premiere Information: Galimir String Quartet, Composers Forum, New York, 1953
Additional Information: 1956 SPAM award.

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#114-40337P)


String Quartet No. 2 with Soprano (1959-1961) -- 28'
Published: #114-40163
Premiere Information: Philadelphia String Quartet with Janice Harsanyi, soprano, 1962
Recordings
Reviews


String Quartet No. 3 (1972) -- 48'
Commission Information: Concord String Quartet
Premiere Information: Concord String Quartet, Tully Hall, New York, May 15, 1972
Additional Information: Naumberg Chamber Composition Award.
Available From Galaxy Music Corp. (E.C. Publishing)


String Quartet No. 4 (1977) -- 27'
Part of Concord Quartets
Published: #416-41099S

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#416-41099A)


String Quartet No. 5 (1978) -- 27'
Part of Concord Quartets
Published: #416-41100S

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#416-41100A)


String Quartet No. 6 (1978) -- 43'
Part of Concord Quartets
Published: #416-41101S

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#416-41101A)


String Quartet No. 7 with Baritone Voice (1979) -- 25'
Published: #111-40113
Commission Information: University of Michigan, for Leslie Guinn
Premiere Information: Leslie Guinn, baritone, January 27, 1980
Recordings
Reviews

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#111-40113P)
Full Score - Large (#111-40113S)


String Quintet for Two Violins, Viola, and Two Cellos (1982) -- 27'
Published: #114-40297
Commission Information: Concord String Quartet, for the occasion of its 10th anniversary
Reviews

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#114-40297P)


Summer, 1990 Piano Trio No. 3 (1990) -- 25'
Vln. Vcl. Pno.
Published: #114-40621
Commission Information: Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and the Pew Charitable Trusts, for the Beaux Arts Trio
Premiere Information: Beaux Arts Trio, Philadelphia, December 16, 1991
Recordings

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#114-40621P)
Full Score - Large (#114-40621S)


To the Dark Wood for Woodwind Quintet (1985) -- 16'
Published: #114-40446
Commission Information: Earle Page College Foundation, for the Canberra Wind Soloists
Premiere Information: Canberra Wind Soloists, Armidale, Australia, October 3, 1986
Recordings


Trio for Clarinet, Horn and Piano (1980) -- 20'
Published: #114-40270
Additional Information: Revision of a 1947 work (not available).
Recordings
Reviews


Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello (1986) -- 23'
Published: #114-40428
Commission Information: Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation in the Library of Congress, for the Beaux Arts Trio
Premiere Information: Beaux Arts Trio, February, 1986

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#114-40428P)


Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano (1967) -- 18'
Published: #114-40128
Premiere Information: Nieuw Amsterdam Trio, Buffalo, 1968
Recordings


Ukiyo-E (Pictures of the Floating World) for Solo Harp (1973) -- 12'
Published: #414-41110
Commission Information: Marcella de Cray
Premiere Information: Marcella de Cray, harpist, San Francisco
Recordings



Chamber Orchestra


Cantio Sacra for Small Orchestra (1954) -- 12'
2Ob.(E.H.) 2Tpt.(In C.) Ten.Tbn. Str.
Premiere Information: New School of Music Orchestra, Arthur Cohn conducting, ca. 1955-56
Additional Information: Transcription of organ music of Samuel Scheidt.
Available From Edwin A. Fleisher Music Collection, Free Library of Philadelphia


Chamber Symphony for Nine Instruments (1953) -- 18'
0 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 0; Vln. Vla. Vcl.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Baltimore Chamber Society, Hugo Weisgall, conductor, 1955
Recordings
Reviews

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#416-41094)


Cheltenham Concerto for Small Orchestra (1958) -- 15'
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Cheltenham Art Center
Premiere Information: 1958, Philadelphia, PA
Additional Information: 1st prize Chamber Orchestra, Italian ISCM International Competition 1959


Music for "The Alchemist" (Play by Ben Jonson) for Soprano and Eleven Players (1965) -- 20'
2 2 0 0 - 0 2 0 0; 2 Perc. Kbd. Vln. Cb. Incidental Sop.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Stage Production: Vivian Beaumont Theater, Lincoln Center, October 13, 1968. Concert Version: University of Washington Contemporary Group, October 31, 1969


Music for the Magic Theater for Small Orchestra (1965-69)
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Buffalo Philharmonic, Melvin Strauss, conductor
Recordings
Reviews

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#416-41084)



Choral and Vocal


Behold, My Servant for Mixed Chorus, a cappella (1973) -- 8'
Published: #312-41062
Commission Information: Jewish Theological Seminary
Premiere Information: October 23, 1973


Book of Songs Voice and Piano Collection (1937-1969)
Available From Theodore Presser Company (Manuscript only)

Movements:
Ah, Sunflower (1957/62)
Ballade (1968) (trans. from Tableaux)
Behold, Thou Art Fair (1946) (from Songs of Solomon)
Bright Cap (1947)
Come, My Beloved (1946) (from Songs of Solomon)
Dirge (1941)
Du Bist (1940)
Du Mein Heilege (A) (1946)
Du Meine (B) (1947)
Ecce Puer (1949/51)
February Spring (1946)
Lira la-la (1948)
Lullaby (Vocalise) (1944/45)
Minnelied (1939)
Night Piece (1968) (trans. from Tableaux)
Night Song at Amalfi (1946)
No Fall of Tears (1946)
Nurse’s Song (1957/62) (trans. from Blake Songs)
Oh, My Love’s (1945)
Ophelia’s Song (1946)
Piping Down (1959)
Rise Up, My Love (1946) (from Songs of Solomon)
Set Me As A Seal (1946) (from Songs of Solomon)
Song of Day (1946)
Song of Shadows (1946)
Sweetest Love (1946/47)
The Blind Man (1937/47)
There Be None (A) (1941)
There Be None (B) (1949)
There Was an Aged King (1937)
Tyger! Tyger! (1957/69)
Warum sind Denn
When I Am Dead (1938)
Who Has Seen the Wind? (1947)
With Rue My Heart (1938)


David, the Psalmist for Tenor Solo and Orchestra (1954) -- 25'
3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: University of Pennsylvania Orchestra, Melvin Strauss, conductor, 1965


Eleven Songs to Poems of Paul Rochberg for Mezzo-soprano and Piano (1969) -- 18'
Published: #411-41053
Premiere Information: Oberlin Festival of Music, March 20, 1970
Recordings
Reviews


Fantasies for Voice and Piano (1971) -- 5'
Published: #111-40081
Premiere Information: Judith Maas, Vancouver, Canada, 1973


Four Songs of Solomon for Voice and Piano (1946) -- 7'
Published: #111-40086
Premiere Information: David Lloyd, tenor, Philadelphia, PA, 1947


Hymn to American Spirit for SATB Chorus
Published: #312-41746


Passions According to the 20th Century for Singers, Jazz Quintet, Brass Ensemble, Percussion, Piano and Tape (1967) -- 60'
Published: #416-41241
Additional Information: Score only. Parts available on rental.


Phaedra Monodrama for Mezzo-Soprano and Orchestra (1973-74) -- 35'
2 2 2 2 - 4 2 3 0; Timp. Perc. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: New Music Ensemble, Syracuse, NY, with assistance from New York State Council on the Arts
Premiere Information: Neva Pilgrim with Syracuse Symphony, David Loebel, conductor, January 9, 1976
Additional Information: Text drawn from Robert Lowell’s "Phaedra" by Gene Rochberg

Available Separately:

Piano/Vocal Score (#411-41104)


Sacred Song of Reconciliation (Mizmor L'plyus) for Baritone and Orchestra (1970) -- 10'
1 1 1 1 - 1 0 1 0; Perc. 2Pno. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Testimonium
Premiere Information: Testimonium, Gary Bertini, conductor, Jerusalem, Israel, January 5, 1971
Reviews


Seven Early Love Songs for Voice and Piano (1991) -- 20'
Published: #411-41093


Songs in Praise of Krishna (1970) -- ca. 35-40'
Published: #411-41075
Premiere Information: Neva Pilgrim and George Rochberg, University of Illinois, March 16, 1971

Movements:
As the Mirror to My Hand
Beloved, What More Shall I Say to You?
Her Slender Body
Hymn to Krishna (I): After Long Sorrow
Hymn to Krishna (II): It Was in Bitter Maytime
I Brought Honey
I Place Beauty Spots
Let the Earth of My Body
Lord of My Heart
My Mind is Not on Housework
My Moon-Faced One
O Madhava, How Shall I Tell You of My Terror
O My Friend, My Sorrow is Unending
Shining One

Recordings
Reviews


Songs of Inanna and Dumuzi for Alto and Piano (1977) -- 25'
Published: #111-40088
Commission Information: Morton Newman through the Philadelphia Chapter of Young Audiences, Inc.
Additional Information: Ancient cuneiform text translated and transliterated by Francesca Rochberg

Movements:
He Blossoms, He Abounds
He-tum-tum
Lubi-mu
Luxuriant Heart
May the Tigris and the Euphrates
Sa Lam-lam-ma
She Calls for the Bed of Joy


Suite No. 2 from "The Confidence Man" for Solo Voices, Chorus and Orchestra (1987)
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Tableaux for Soprano, Two Actors’ Voices, Small Men’s Chorus and 12 Players (1968) -- 30'
1(A.Fl., Picc.)-1(E(Cl., A.Cl.)-0-0/1-1-1-0; Perc., Pno., Hpsd., Vln., Vla., Vcl., Cb.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: University of Washington Contemporary Group, October 31, 1969
Additional Information: Based on "Silver Talons of Piero Kostrov" by Paul Rochberg
Reviews

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#416-41085)


Three Cantes Flamencos for High Baritone (1969) -- 10'
Available From Theodore Presser Company (Manuscript only)

Movements:
Ay, Deblica Bari!
Dale Limosna, Mujer
Ven Aca, Mujer del Mundo


Three Psalms for Mixed Chorus, a cappella (1954) -- 12'


Psalm 23
Published: #312-40297


Psalm 43
Published: #312-40298


Psalm 150
Published: #312-40299



Two Songs from "Tableaux" (1969) -- ca. 5-6'
Published: #111-40075
Additional Information: Transcribed by composer.



Keyboard


Arioso (1959) -- 3'
Published: #110-40462


Bartokiana (1959) -- 1' 30"
Published: #110-40463


Book of Contrapuntal Pieces for Keyboard Instruments (1979)
Published: #416-41240
Commission Information: Dedicated to the memory of Rose Horowitz.
Additional Information: Contains canons, inventions, fugues, mostly written between 1940-46; fugue from "Sonata for Piano No. 2" (1948-49); 4-hand transcription of fugue from "String Quartet No. 4" (1977).


Carnival Music for Solo Piano (1976) -- 25'
Published: #110-40612
Premiere Information: Jerome Lowenthal, Philadelphia, May 4, 1972

Movements:
Blues
Fantasy and March
Largo Doloroso
Sfumato
Toccata-Rag

Recordings
Reviews


Circles of Fire for Two Pianos (1997) -- 73'
Published: #410-41325
Commission Information: A consortium including the Hopkins Center of Dartmouth College, the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, the University of Vermont, and Arizona State University, for Evan Hirsch/Sally Pinkas Duo
Recordings


Four Short Sonatas for Piano Solo (1984)
Published: #410-41259
Commission Information: U.S.I.A
Premiere Information: June 6, 1984, Rome
Recordings


Nach Bach Fantasia for Harpsichord or Piano (1966) -- 8-9'
Published: #110-40589
Commission Information: Written for by Igor Kipnis.
Premiere Information: Igor Kipnis, University of Pennsylvania, January, 1967
Recordings
Reviews


Partita-Variations for Piano Solo (1976) -- 27-28'
Published: #410-41215
Commission Information: Etsuko Tazaki, through auspices of Washington, D.C. Performing Arts Society Bicentennial Series
Premiere Information: Washington, D.C., December 4, 1976
Recordings
Reviews


Prelude on "Happy Birthday" (1969) -- 4-5'
Published: #110-40596
Commission Information: Philadelphia Orchestra Association, to celebrate Ormandy’s and Orchestra’s collective 70th birthday


Sonata Seria for Piano -- 23'
Published: #410-41331
Recordings


Sonata-Fantasia for Piano Solo (1956) -- 23'
Published: #410-41079
Premiere Information: Howard Liebow, New York, 1958
Recordings
Reviews


Three Elegiac Pieces for Piano -- 21'35"
Published: #110-40735
Recordings


Twelve Bagatelles for Piano (1952) -- 11' 30"
Published: #410-41047
Premiere Information: George Rochberg, New York Composers Forum
Recordings
Reviews


Two Preludes and Fughettas from the "Book of Contrapuntal Pieces" (1946) -- 5' 30"
Published: #110-40627


Variations on an Original Theme for Piano Solo (1941) -- 20'
Published: #110-40690
Premiere Information: George Rochberg, Mannes School of Music, 1942
Recordings
Reviews



Large Orchestra


Imago Mundi for Large Orchestra (1973) -- 22'
3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3 (B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) - 4 3 3 1. Timp. 3Perc. Hp. Cel. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Premiere Information: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Sergiu Commissiona, conductor, May 8, 1974
Reviews


Night Music for Orchestra with Cello Solo (1948) -- 12'
3-3-3-3; 4-3-3-1; Timp., Perc., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: D. Mitropoulos and New York Philharmonic, 1953
Additional Information: 2nd movement of "Symphony No. 1." Gershwin Memorial Award 1952.
Recordings
Reviews

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#416-41036)


Suite No. 1 from "The Confidence Man" for Orchestra (1987-88)
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: National Symphony Orchestra, Kenneth Schemerhorn, conductor, October 27, 1989


Symphony No. 1 (5-movement version) (1948-57, rev. 1977) -- 50'
3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Additional Information: Restored version of original 5 movements; "Night Music" and "Capriccio" restored to original position as 2nd and 3rd movements, respectively.
Recordings
Reviews

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#416-41268)


Symphony No. 2 (1955-56) -- 28'
3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp., Perc., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Cleveland Orchestra, Szell conducting, 1959
Additional Information: Naumburg Recording Award 1961
Recordings
Reviews

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#416-41050)


Symphony No. 3 for Double Chorus, Chamber Chorus, Soloists, and Large Orchestra (1966-69) -- 40'
6 5 5 6 - 6 8 8 1; Timp. Perc. Org. Cel. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Juilliard School of Music
Premiere Information: Juilliard Orchestra and Chorus, Collegiate Chorale, Abraham Kaplan, conductor, November 24, 1970
Reviews

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#416-41123)


Symphony No. 4 (1976) -- 45'
3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Glock. Hp. Cel. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Seattle Youth Orchestra
Premiere Information: Seattle Youth Orchestra, Vilem Sokol, conductor, November 15, 1976
Reviews


Symphony No. 5 (1984) -- 25'
4 2 1 3 - 4 4 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno./Cel. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Commissioned for the sesquicentennial celebration of the city of Chicago.
Premiere Information: March 13, 1986, Sir Georg Solti, conductor
Reviews

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#416-41158)


Symphony No. 6 for Large Orchestra (1986-87) -- 35'
4 4 5 4 - 4 4 3 1; 2Timp. 3 Perc. 2 Hp. Cel. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Pittsburgh Symphony Society
Premiere Information: October 16, 1987, Lorin Maazel, conductor
Reviews


Time-Span II
Available From MCA Music (Belwin Mills)


Transcendental Variations for String Orchestra
Available From Galaxy Music Corp. (E.C. Publishing)


Zodiac (A Circle of 12 Pieces) (1964-65) -- 14'
3 3 3 3 - 4-2(in C) 3 1; Timp. 4Perc. Hp. Cel. Pno. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Cincinnati Orchestra, Max Rudolph, conductor, May 8, 1965
Additional Information: Orchestral version of "12 Bagatelles for Piano Solo"

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#416-41077)



Opera


The Confidence Man an Opera in Two Parts
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Santa Fe Opera
Premiere Information: Santa Fe Opera, Summer, 1982
Additional Information: Libretto by Gene Rochberg, based on the novel of the same name by Herman Melville.



Orchestra with Solo Instruments


Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra (1996) -- 26'
3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 0 3(Cbsn.) - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Cel. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Philadelphia Orchestra and Wolfgang Sawallisch
Premiere Information: Philadelphia Orchestra, Anthony Gigliotti, principal clarinet, February 22, 1996

Available Separately:

Piano Reduction (#114-40864)


Oboe Concerto (1983) -- 18'
2-0-2-2; 4-2-3-1; Timp., 2Perc., Hp., Cel., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Premiere Information: New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Joseph Robinson, soloist, Zubin Mehta, conductor, December 13, 1984
Recordings

Available Separately:

Piano Reduction (#114-40408)
Full Score - Large (#416-41181)


Three Cadenzas for Mozart Oboe Concerto in C Major, K. 314 (1987)
Published: #114-40473
Commission Information: Joseph Robinson (principal oboe, New York Philharmonic)


Violin Concerto (1974, rev. and restored 2002) -- 36'
3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. 2Hp. Cel. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Pittsburgh Symphony, for Isaac Stern
Premiere Information: Pittsburgh Symphony, Isaac Stern, violin, Donald Johanos, conductor, April 4, 1975
Recordings
Reviews

Available Separately:

Piano Reduction (#414-41111)
Full Score - Study (#416-41277)



Prose Writings


3 Commentaries (1968-78)
Published: #417-41036

Movements:
on B-A-C-H
on Pachelbel's Canon (and ground bass)
on Passacaglia (diatonic and chromatic)


A Dance of Polar Opposites: the Continuing Transformation of our Musical Language
Available From University of Rochester Press


Aesthetics of Survival
Available From University of Michigan Press


Five Lines, Four Spaces The World of My Music
Available From University of Illinois Press



Wind Ensemble


Apocalyptica (1964) -- 20'
Published: #115-40075
Premiere Information: Montclair State College Band, Ward Moore, conductor, May, 1965

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#115-40075F)
Set of parts (#115-40075P)
Full Score - Study (#415-41112)


Black Sounds for Winds and Percussion (1965) -- 12'
2 1 2 0 - 2 2 2 1; 4Perc. Pno.(d.Cel.)
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Lincoln Center
Premiere Information: Television broadcast "Lincoln Center Special," September 24, 1965, NET
Additional Information: Music for "The Act," a ballet with choreography by Anna Sokolow. Television show won Prix Italia award, 1965.
Recordings

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#416-41159)


Fanfares for Massed Trumpets, Horns and Trombones (1968) -- 6'
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Settlement Music School, Philadelphia, for its 60th Anniversary
Premiere Information: Settlement Music School, Philadelphia, PA, March 17, 1968

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#416-41160)


Recordings


Nach Bach Fantasia for Harpsichord or Piano


Grenadilla Records No. 1019:



ACA Digital Recording, Inc. CM20044:



Naxos 8.559633: Piano Music, Vol. 3
Sally Pinkas, piano



Carnival Music for Solo Piano


Grenadilla Records No. 1019:



Naxos 8.559634: Piano Music, Vol. 4
Sally Pinkas, piano



Variations on an Original Theme for Piano Solo


Naxos 8.559634: Piano Music, Vol. 4
Sally Pinkas, piano



Three Elegiac Pieces for Piano


Naxos 8.559632: Piano Music, Vol. 2
Evan Hirsch, piano



Gasparo GSCD-354: Piano Music, Vol. 2
Evan Hirsch, Piano



String Quartet No. 7 with Baritone Voice


Nonesuch Records No. 78017 (also cassette 9 78017-4 D):



Contra Mortem et Tempus for Violin, Flute, Clarinet and Piano


Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) SD 231 (also CD 768):



Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) ACS 6013: Music of George Rochberg



Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano


Turnabout Records No. 34520:



Albany Records TROY 153:



String Quartet No. 2 with Soprano


Vox Music Group CDX 5145:



Turnabout Records No. 34520:



Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) SD 164 (also CD 769):



Ricordanza Soliloquy for Cello and Piano


Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) SD-337 (also CD 769):



Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) ACS 6013: Music of George Rochberg



Slow Fires of Autumn (Ukiyo-E II) for Flute and Harp


Tall Poppies (Albany Records) No. TP031:



Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) SD-436 (also CD 769):



Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) ACS 6013: Music of George Rochberg



Sonata for Viola and Piano


Albany Records TROY 141:



North Pacific Music NPM LD003:



Crystal Records



Centaur Records CRC 3049: Inner Voice
Peter Minkler, viola; Lura Johnson, piano



Trio for Clarinet, Horn and Piano


Crystal Records CD 731:



String Quartet No. 1


Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) SD-337 (also CD 768):



Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello


Koch International Classics CD 3-7027-2 H1:



To the Dark Wood for Woodwind Quintet


Koch International Classics No. 3-7262-2:



Centaur Records CD CRC2085:



Sonata for Violin and Piano


In Sync CD 4178:



Summer, 1990 Piano Trio No. 3


Philips Recordings No. 438-866-2:



American Bouquet Versions of Popular Music for Solo Guitar


Wildner Records The Red Guitar
Eliot Fisk, guitar



Black Sounds for Winds and Percussion


Grenadilla Records No. 1019:



Chamber Symphony for Nine Instruments


Desto Records No. 6444:



Twelve Bagatelles for Piano


Advance Records No. 3:



ACA Digital Recording, Inc. CM20044:



Naxos 8.559632: Piano Music, Vol. 2
Evan Hirsch, piano



Sonata-Fantasia for Piano Solo


Naxos 8.559633: Piano Music, Vol. 3
Sally Pinkas, piano



Partita-Variations for Piano Solo


ACA Digital Recording, Inc. CM20044:



Naxos 8.559633: Piano Music, Vol. 3
Sally Pinkas, piano



Four Short Sonatas for Piano Solo


ACA Digital Recording, Inc. CM20044:



Naxos 8.559634: Piano Music, Vol. 4
Sally Pinkas, piano



Circles of Fire for Two Pianos


Naxos 8.559631: Piano Music, Vol. 1
Hirsch-Pinkas Piano Duo



Sonata Seria for Piano


Gasparo GSCD-354: Piano Music, Vol. 2
Evan Hirsch, Piano



Naxos 8.559632: Piano Music, Vol. 2
Evan Hirsch, piano



Eleven Songs to Poems of Paul Rochberg for Mezzo-soprano and Piano


Owl Records No. 28:



Songs in Praise of Krishna


Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) SD-360:



Dialogues for Clarinet and Piano


Capra Records No. 1204:



Duo Concertante for Violin and Cello


Advance Records No. S-6:



Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) SD 337 (also CD 769):



Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) ACS 6013: Music of George Rochberg



Ukiyo-E (Pictures of the Floating World) for Solo Harp


Grenadilla Records No. 1063 (also No. 1750):



Arch Recordes No. S-1787:



Between Two Worlds (Ukiyo-E III) for Flute and Piano


Koch International Classics 3-7144-2 H 1:



Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) SD 531:



Symphony No. 2


Naxos American Classics NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS/8.559182: George Rochberg
Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Lyndon-Gee



Symphony No. 5


NAXOS 8.559115: "George Rochberg"
Saarbruecken Radio Symphony Orchestra/Christopher Lyndon-Gee



Oboe Concerto


New World Records No. 335-2:



Violin Concerto


Sony Classical SMK64 505:



Columbia No. M-35149:



Electrikaleidoscope for an Amplified Ensemble


The Smithsonian Collection of Recordings No. 22:



Music for the Magic Theater for Small Orchestra


New World Records NW80462-2:



Desto Records No. 6444:



Night Music for Orchestra with Cello Solo


Louisville First Edition Recordings No. S-634:



Octet, A Grand Fantasia


New World Records NW80462-2:



Quintet for Piano and String Quartet


Nonesuch Records H-71396 (also cassette N1-78011):



Symphony No. 1 (5-movement version)


Louisville First Edition Recordings No. S-623:



NAXOS NAXOS American Classics 8.559214: Symphony No. 1
Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Lyndon-Gee



NAXOS American Classics 8.559214: Symphony No. 1
Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Lyndon-Gee



Symphony No. 2


Composers Recordings, Inc. (New World Records) CRI 492 (also CD 768):



Tableaux Records



Turnabout Records No. 34492:



Vox Music Group CDX 5145:



Reviews

"The piano music spans the length of Rochberg’s compositional career and shows a high degree of passion and expressiveness, both in Rochberg’s serial and romantic periods.

Adventurous listeners who want to explore American art music will enjoy hearing the piano music of George Rochberg, on this CD and on the companion CDs by Pinkas and Hirsch. Rochberg will be remembered as one of the major American composers of the Twentieth Century."

-Robin Friedman, Amazon.com (user review of Naxos 8.559633: Piano Music, Vol. 3)

"George Rochberg is a composer worth revisiting…He grew up on a musical battlefield of warring ideologies. It would have been admirable had he refused to join the serialists or the polytonalists or the neo-Romantics or the neo-classicists or the minimalists. More admirable was that he joined them all."

-Bernard Holland, The New York Times

"…deeply satisfying."

-Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International (Review of Naxos CD "Piano Music Vol. 3")


Nach Bach Fantasia for Harpsichord or Piano

"…sounds emerge from the instrument which would make you think the harpsichordist has gone electric. It was all very wonderful and great fun."

-Blyth Young, Ottawa Journal

"…an attractive piece…"

-Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International (Review of Naxos CD "Piano Music Vol. 3")


Carnival Music for Solo Piano

"Rochberg’s music includes both popular American idioms and baroque and romantic classicism…

All told, the “Carnival Music” is a lively, diverse work in an American idiom."

-Robin Friedman, Amazon.com (user review of Naxos 8.559634)

"…a brilliant show-work for piano that the heart and mind of Rochberg have put together as if with some kind of magic glue that is oddly cohesive. Robert Schumann’s Carnival, written more than a century before the Rochberg piece, was a happy comparison."

-James Felton, Philadelphia Evening Bulletin

"Rochberg’s music… gathers the kind of music he values, a portrait of himself and his life in music… highly pianistic, broadly orchestrated, overflowing with sound. It is personal, appealing, provocative and full of emotion— the essence of a romantic work."

-Daniel Webster, Philadelphia Inquirer


Variations on an Original Theme for Piano Solo

"As a young man of 23 in 1941, Rochberg composed his “Variations on an Original Theme”…

Although there is nothing groundbreaking in this work, it is delightful to hear. It is an impressive accomplishment by a fledgling composer."

-Robin Friedman, Amazon.com (user review of Naxos 8.559634)


String Quartet No. 7 with Baritone Voice

"The Concord Quartet matches the poetry — ‘The beast of night, dark furred…’ —a vision of terror. For sustained intensity, the group strikes a note not heard in Rochberg quartets for years… forceful, dark statements as direct as any verbal image."

-Daniel Webster, Philadelphia Inquirer


Contra Mortem et Tempus for Violin, Flute, Clarinet and Piano

"Its particular and very touching elegiac quality is conveyed through a highly individual use of quotation. It is a singularly sensitive piece of work… If the Bowdoin festival had nothing to show for its existence but the commissioning of the one work the whole project would be extremely worthwhile."

-Michael Steinberg, Boston critic

"…a shining example of how up-to-the-minute materials can be used to produce music of strong individuality. In a sense, his is romantic music, super-distilled lyricism… and it is very spiritual."

-Theodore Strongin, New York Times


String Quartet No. 2 with Soprano

"…a wholly superior testimonial to the continuing viability of the middle ground in the 12-tone world. The composer uses a text in the closing sections of his work, drawn from the ninth Duino Elegy of Rilke; indeed there is much Rilke in the mood of the entire composition."

-Alan Rich, New York Times

"The intellectual grit with which musical arguments were pressed home… is reflected in the hard-edged visionary strain of its feeling…"

-London Daily Telegraph


Sonata for Viola and Piano

"…a refreshingly romantic piece from this sometimes unpredictable composer; in this score, virility and heartfelt emotion combine to wonderful effect."

-William Goodfellow, Musical America


Trio for Clarinet, Horn and Piano

"…an artistic vision of rich complexity, essentially lyrical in manner, concentrated in its rethinking of sonata form."

-Anthony Payne, London Daily Telegraph

"…formally and expressively coherent, rich in diverse and memorable ideas, and most enjoyable to listen to."

-John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune


String Quintet for Two Violins, Viola, and Two Cellos

"…a greater humanity and depth for his art. Rochberg offers the proof that tonal and non-tonal music can find new musical directions and he is on a strikingly original path."

-Tom Larson, The New Mexican


Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello

"…of considerable dramatic intensity… a point of being communicative… a fresh and imaginative range of sonorities… direct but unconventional… virtuoso stuff."

-Lon Tuck, Washington Post


Sonata for Violin and Piano

"The profound emotional expression in all four movements is characterized by the constant employment of atonality and tonal variety."

-Danny Kim-Nam Hui, ConcertoNet.com


Chamber Symphony for Nine Instruments

"…works very effectively, in four movements. It uses melodic motives that are perceptible and that really develop, despite the atonality."

-Mark DeVoto, Boston Musical Intelligencer


50 Caprice Variations for Violin

"The Caprice Variations, in which Rochberg masterfully blends Modernist and Classical elements, is a beguiling, if not bemusing, composition."

-Danny Kim-Nam Hui, ConcertoNet.com


Twelve Bagatelles for Piano

"…among the most beautiful serial compositions ever penned, terse, characterful, and singing.

It is no surprise that Rochberg’s textures are always pianistic and illuminated from within, given that he was an excellent pianist himself."

-Howard Goldstein, BBC Music Magazine (review of Piano Music, Vol. 2, on Naxos)

"I find them one of the most enlightening and entrancing piano compositions that came to my attention in a decade or so… there is a personal message in your music, and your music gives to the performer the way to give the maximum of his abilities."

-Alexander Tcherepnin, in a letter to the composer

"They are 12-tone music, but more important, they are music, the expression of a true composer… the contrasts in mood and texture fused in an architectonic whole make for interesting piano music."

-Jeanne Behrend, Notes


Sonata-Fantasia for Piano Solo

"…impressive…

…dark, serious, brooding…"

-Robin Friedman, Amazon.com (user review of Naxos 8.559633)

"…shows what wealth of material a note-row can yield. The range of invention compels admiration, as does the dazzling variety and ingenuity of the piano writing."

-Peter Crump, Music and Letters

"…a display piece, a veritable peacock’s tail of eye-catching colours."

-Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International (Review of Naxos CD "Piano Music Vol. 3")


Partita-Variations for Piano Solo

"…sheer elegance and fluidity…
<
…beautifully crafted and well executed."

-Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International (Review of Naxos CD "Piano Music Vol. 3")

"The theme…is a beautiful, short, and accessible lyrical ballade in a romantic style.

Each of the movements flow into one another without pause. The overall feel is one of unity and energy within a diversity of musical styles."

-Robin Friedman, Amazon.com (user review of Naxos 8.559633)


Eleven Songs to Poems of Paul Rochberg for Mezzo-soprano and Piano

"…pieces of fluency and deeply involved feelings nourished by the spare suggestiveness of the poems. The piano parts… retained a glassy clarity while arising from a dense, chromatic richness that seemed to carry forward a few steps the same kind of poignancy we find in the songs of Alban Berg."

-James Felton, Philadelphia Evening Bulletin


Songs in Praise of Krishna

"…the jagged melodic lines and ripe dissonances — so wide in range and at the same time limited in what they can express — remain as wellspring for new musical development … there is such a degree of subtlety and truth in the matching of words to music as to make the total effect unmistakably strong."

-Monroe Levin, Jewish Exponent


Duo Concertante for Violin and Cello

"… rigorous passion in the broad statements and tense harmonies."

-David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer


Quintet for Piano and String Quartet

"The Piano Quintet has never seemed greater or more symphonic in scope than it did Sunday, thanks to an ensemble led by violinist Paul Roby and pianist [Marcantonio] Barone… Though knitted together with skilled motivic unity, the piece's seven movements are eventful worlds of their own… Just when Rochberg seems to have fully explored a particular idea, there's more, so much more…"

-David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer


Violin Concerto

"What makes [the Violin Concerto] fresh and exciting is Rochberg’s willingness to be unafraid of the past. He wants to be able to use any device, technique or idea he likes… The Violin Concerto’s melodic style and rich harmony go back to turn-of-the-century post-Romanticism. Its fantasies and ornate 5-movement shapes suggest the baroque. Yet it is not a total throwback. Its forays into atonality are imaginative."

-Time Magazine


Electrikaleidoscope for an Amplified Ensemble

"Though this piece has its amusing moments and seems tongue-in-cheek for a while, it leaves one with the impression that a serious statement has been made. Throughout the work the composer never stands above the traditions he is referring to, taking potshots at them, but relates to each one on a sincere level, employing his own astute craftsmanship to make his own kind of Beethoven and his own kind of rock… sensitive, carefully crafted."

-Village Voice


Imago Mundi for Large Orchestra

"…a powerful and thoroughly original work, communicating a diversity of ideas and impressions to the listener. Especially interesting are the opening and closing sections wherein the composer has recreated the sounds of Japanese Gagaku, the orchestra music of the Imperial Court originating in the eighth century… accomplished by uncanny manipulation of the resources of the modern orchestra. It successfully combines the concepts of unity and variety that mark the product of a true master."

-Sam di Bonaventura, Baltimore critic

"Imago Mundi… is a fascinating accomplishment… an unusual conflict and brilliant resolution of styles, as fleeting as a musical dream— fairy-like and magical, and throughout tinged with an element of religiosity. Rochberg is a formidable craftsman, a master orchestrator. It is a unique work, truly gripping in its effect."

-Elliott W. Galkin, Baltimore Sun


Music for the Magic Theater for Small Orchestra

"Mr. Rochberg’s aim is… to evoke the past and tie it to the present in a mystical way that goes beyond what others have done in any conscious or systematic manner… after a lapse of years, one was again struck by Mr. Rochberg’s ability to project his personal vision."

-Donal Henahan, New York Times

"Craggy, abrupt and highly colored instrumentations to give a music insistently demanding attention."

-Glenn Griffin, Denver Post


Night Music for Orchestra with Cello Solo

"Mr. Rochberg shows marked creative daring in this composition. It is in a style suggesting Berg and Schoenberg, yet distinctly his own in the shrewd play of novel idea and color."

-Louis Biancolli, New York World-Telegram

"…an exquisitely beautiful piece, full of mysterious, silvery effects and profound, compelling expression. Mark it well…"

-Alfred Frankenstein, High Fidelity


Quintet for Piano and String Quartet

"A provocative work that draws the listener in, sometimes comfortably, sometimes challengingly."

-Richard Freed, Stereo Review

"Extreme eclecticism like this takes courage, but it is a courage made easier by Mr. Rochberg's rock-solid sense of form and shape…The contrasts are large ones: violent chords leaving trailing echoes of resonance over which soft responses are heard. The Brahmsian inner movements are lovely."

-Bernard Holland, The New York Times


Sacred Song of Reconciliation (Mizmor L'plyus) for Baritone and Orchestra

"…an unyielding, granitic work on a Hebrew text…that brought the house down."

-Richard Dyer, Boston Globe


Symphony No. 1 (5-movement version)

"There can be no question of Mr. Rochberg’s skill with the orchestra, and of his ability to spin nice lines into a good fabric… I also liked the nice lyric flow of the slow movement and its imaginative counterpoint."

-Paul Henry Lang, New York Herald Tribune

"…full of ginger and ideas… the end movements… are bursting with rugged energy. Mr. Rochberg writes for the orchestra with spirit and with a flair for its variety."

-Howard Taubman, New York Times


Symphony No. 2

"…a masterpiece… a powerful and thoroughly original score… it communicates emotion, with technique relegated to minor importance."

-New York Times

"…a work of classic symphonic scope and of Schoenbergian intensity and vision… an underlying originality and an expressive power and poetry that are remarkable."

-High Fidelity

"…the symphony astonishes as much by the novel sounds drawn from the traditional orchestra as by the melodic-rhythmic wealth derived from a single twelve-tone row… rhythmically, as in the melodic realm, Rochberg has succeeded in creating the unity in variety that marks the true master."

-Alexander L. Ringer, Musical Quarterly


Symphony No. 3 for Double Chorus, Chamber Chorus, Soloists, and Large Orchestra

"This work is an important ‘breakthrough’ that intelligent audiences have been waiting for, and not something thrown together for shock effect… [Rochberg] has used his great musical genius in the service of humanity… the star-studded audience… gave Rochberg’s work an ovation."

-David Kosinski, Wilmington Evening Journal

"Rochberg has woven into his work music of other composers in new guises or new contexts… gathering into his own music the ideas from the past that are important to him. It is music from the heart and its message scarcely needs words to make its impact. It is an epochal work in Rochberg’s catalog; it should be one in our times."

-Daniel Webster, Philadelphia Inquirer


Symphony No. 4

"Mr. Rochberg writes tunes, tunes you can sing, tunes that stay in your head. He is unashamedly, unabashedly, uninhibitedly Romantic."

-Stephen Cera, Baltimore Sunday Sun


Symphony No. 5

"…what promises to be one of the most important Symphonies written in the last half of this century… a work of impressive substance… music of great force… response to a period in history when humanistic values have been challenged, and a reaffirmation that they are important…"

-Robert C. March, Chicago Sun-Times

"The Symphony No. 5 is romantic… terse and highly condensed. It does not use quotations from the past, although it pivots on a long, lyrical musical phrase that could have been written by Mahler…"

-Daniel Webster, Philadelphia Inquirer


Symphony No. 6 for Large Orchestra

"…an unqualified success… dashing, powerful, high tension so superbly crafted that the ideas were clear no matter how complex the writing."

-Carl Alphone, The Pittsburgh Press


Tableaux for Soprano, Two Actors’ Voices, Small Men’s Chorus and 12 Players

"…the best new piece of music I’ve heard in several years. A century (or more) from now, it should still stand as a highly skilled, deeply moving piece of music, an example of the best music of our times."

-Wayne Johnson, Seattle Times

"Rochberg has built a new and highly evocative orchestra, creating new sounds, finding the apt touch for the ethereal poetry and the mood… it is hard to imagine a more suitable fitting of timbre with text."

-Daniel Webster, Philadelphia Inquirer


Concord Quartets

"The ‘Concord’ quartets, each roughly a half-hour in length, speak a kind of musical esperanto that Rochberg calls ‘multi-gestural.’ Atonal, 12-tone and purely diatonic elements exist side-by-side, even simultaneously. No single harmonic procedure dominates; each is as important as the other, fixed radically like the spokes of a wheel. Together they form a literal musical continuum that denies neither the past nor the present. It is one music, and it is many musics — the composer provides the artistic context and the listener is left to draw his own aural relationships."

-Chicago Tribune