As William Dart says in this programme, “In New Zealand, in 2013, Ned Rorem’s music is fated to be for CD collectors only and even then you have to hunt it out.”
Even in his native United States, let alone here, he’s not particularly well-known. Although he’s written over 300 works in almost every genre – symphony, concerto, opera, chamber works, solo piano music – it’s as a composer of art songs that he is most recognised. (Time Magazine has called him “the world’s best composer of art songs”).
Rorem celebrated his 90th birthday in 2013 and RNZ Concert celebrated by featuring him as 'Composer of the Week' for the first time.
FOSTER ARR ROREM: Jeanie with the light brown hair - Susan Graham (mezzo), Malcolm Martineau (piano) (Erato)
ROREM: Psalm 148, from Cycle of Holy Songs - Phyllis Curtin (soprano) (Columbia)
ROREM: Symphony No 1 - Bournemouth SO / Serebrier (Naxos)
STRAVINSKY: The Rite of Spring - Claire Quellet, Sandra Murray (pno duet) (CBC)
ROREM: Nocturne, from Piano Sonata No 2 - Julius Katchen (piano) (Philips)
ROREM: Piano Concerto No 2 - Simon Mulligan, Royal Scottish National Orch / Serebrier (Naxos)
ROREM: Double Concerto - Jaime Laredo (vln), Sharon Robinson (cello), IRIS Orch / Michael Stern (Naxos)
ROREM: Miss Julie - Laurelyn Watson (sop), MSM Opera Orchestra / Gilbert (Newport)
THOMSON: Ruth Smallens, from 8 Protraits for Violin Alone - Joseph Silverstein (Nonesuch)
ROREM: Matins, from Book of Hours - The Fibonacci Sequence (Naxos)
ROREM: For Poulenc - Susan Graham (mezzo), Malcolm Martineau (piano) (Erato)
ROREM: My Brain is Littered, from More than a Day - Brian Asawa (ctr tenor), Los Angeles CO / Kahane (RCA)
ROREM: Hymn for Evening - The Prince Consort (Linn)