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Rouse: Gorgon

Christopher Rouse , Marin Alsop , Colorado Symphony Orchestra Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Colorado Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Marin Alsop
  • Composer: Christopher Rouse
  • Audio CD (January 14, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rca Records/Sbme
  • ASIN: B000003G0Q
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,593 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Trbn Con: Movt I - Joseph Alessi
2. Trbn Con: Movt II - Joseph Alessi
3. Trbn Con: Movt III - Joseph Alessi
4. Gorgon: I. Stheno - Joseph Alessi
5. Gorgon: I. Stheno: Perseus Spell 1 - Marin Alsop/Colorado SO
6. Gorgon: II. Euryale - Marin Alsop/Colorado SO
7. Gorgon: II. Euryale: Perseus Spell 2 - Marin Alsop/Colorado SO
8. Gorgon: III. Medusa - Marin Alsop/Colorado SO
9. Iscariot - Marin Alsop/Colorado SO

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This is the best collection available of the music of Christopher Rouse, one of the most audience-pleasing Americans writing today. The Trombone Concerto won the Pulitzer Prize for its mastery of form and content--but it also speaks as a heartfelt tribute to the memory of Leonard Bernstein.
"Gorgon" is an astounding creation, one of the loudest pieces ever written, adding 75 percussion instruments to the full orchestra. Its frightening relentlessness will test the capacity of the best stereo system. Rouse does you blotto with the ostinato. Not for the squeamish; but for those who can take it, it may well prove to be the most exciting investment of a lifetime.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a magnificent disc June 10, 2001
Rouse' Trombone Concerto won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993. There are two recordings of it, this one and a BIS recording with Christian Lindberg as soloist. Both of these are excellent, though I'd perhaps give this RCA CD the edge because of the playing of Joseph Alessi, for whom the concerto was written. Like many of Rouse's works, this is a dark and somber meditation on death, and it is deeply, deeply moving. "Iscariot" is also a very distrubing piece. And then there's "Gorgon," which HAS to be one of the wildest, loudest pieces of music ever composed. It's a crazy, rollercoaster ride of a work, a great test for anyone's audio system. The performances are all first-rate, and the music is profoundly important.
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Baltimore-born Christopher Rouse was trained at Oberlin and Cornell. He studied with Karel Husa and George Crumb and held faculty positions at U. of Michigan and Eastman School of Music before moving to Juilliard in 1997. Juilliard's gain. Everyone else's loss. His most prominent composition student is Michael Torke. Stylistically, Rouse is considered a neoromantic composer, but some are more musically obtuse. In the present RCA album, Marin Alsop leads the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in Rouse's Trombone Concerto, Gorgon, and Iscariot. The works were recorded in 1995 using 20-bit technology and the sound is astonishing!

The album begins with the Trombone Concerto. Right from the start, I must tell you that I thought this was one I was going to have to listen to for purposes of the review, but surprise, surprise: I actually enjoyed it immensely. This is wonderful music, one of the most fantastic modern works I have heard. The 1st movement begins rather darkly and sparsely. My first impression was "Oh, God, is this even music?" The trombone makes slow, low-pitched, almost groaning sounds similar to... well, you can just guess. But then it became increasingly musical in a more conventional sense, and I realized that I was actually beginning to enjoy it. A lot. It... became... beautiful! The 2nd movement is stunning, sort of perpetual motion. It is often loud. The rhythms are fascinating. The trombonist must have required resuscitation by the end of the movement! Really, really enjoyable. I'll be listening again and again to this. I couldn't help but think of Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind. Remember, the trombone note coming from the saucer after it landed on Devil's Mountain? Well, multiply that times a hundred, and add percussion, additional brass, and strings.
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