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Symphony No. 1

Rouse Christopher Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 24.79
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Product Details


1. Symphony No.1
2. I. The Evestrum Of Juan De La Cruz In The Sagrada Familia At 3 A.M.
3. II. The Infernal Machine
4. III. Bump

Product Description

Product Description


Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What's so bad about new music anyway? Jan. 27 2002
Format:Audio CD
There seems to be a stigma surrounding new music that prevents many audiences from ever experiencing the sheer passion and beauty that is often created by today's many gifted composers. Fortunately, Christopher Rouse's music is heard relatively often, which is a blessing for both the composer and the listener.
The "Symphony #1" is one of Rouse's most tonal pieces. It was composed shortly after the extremely dissonant, atonal, and fast-paced "Gorgon"--Rouse describes the two as a "yin and yang to each other". Therefore, the aim of this piece is an adagio and tonal (though still dissonant, but do you expect otherwise from Rouse?) piece. The tonality is often blurred, but certain recurring melodic and rhythmic motives enrapture the listener. Rouse infuses too much passion and emotion into the score to solicit any loss of interest. In short, it's difficult to get bored during the 24 minutes that make up this piece.
"Phantasmata", on the other hand, is less emotionally taxing and more fun. It is a much more dissonant piece, which may turn off some listeners, but if you don't mind that sort of thing, this piece shouldn't be missed either.
I can't really comment on the performance, since there are no other recordings I know of that I can compare it with, but the Baltimore Symphony does justice to the demanding score.
It's a keeper.
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By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Rouse's "First Symphony" is indeed a serious affair. In fact if you look out at the world,all you see is the deep disturbed anxiety Rouse manipulates here. He has this gut-wrenching melos in the money-making part of the high register of the violins. You could almost say it is a few feet away from film music. But I'm sorry Rouse is much to bound to his aesthetic object to be so obvious. This is also a marvelous piece of orchestration with the middle register of the orchestra torn out setting up this gut-churning opening. The low densely packed violoncellos,bassoons, and lower brass work so well, you can almost move a mountain with them. I found this so overwhelming and powerful that there was nothing left for me in the remainder. Like Rouse wants you to spend your emotions up front at the box office. The quick toccata like rhythms which take us home to the finale I don't think equals the expressive torrent of bursting passion. But then we live under the primary sign of postmodernity, not every artistic element can or should be explained and is a creative problem Rouse must ultimately deal with,not us out here. The "Infernal Machine" etc. we see yet another gifted talent bought off by facile market persuasions. It makes a fascinating orchestration ride a la Adams This is a fast paced,quick contrast,quick fix, like a stand-up comic waiting for the right timing. Henny Youngman could learn something from Rouse, at least in this piece. Zinman and Baltimore play their hearts out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars extraordinary music May 30 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Christopher Rouse has become one of America's most special and amazing composers. This is a wonderful recording of his deeply moving first symphony, a tragic but finally consoling work. David Zinman is one of Rouse's biggest champions, so I am certain that this recording represents the music as the composer wished it to sound. This is not difficult music to listen to in terms of style, though its dark message may make it hard for some to grapple with. Phantasmata is a more dissonant piece, but somehow it all turns out to be fun. This is extraordinary music.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's so bad about new music anyway? Jan. 27 2002
By Dr. Fartmeister - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
There seems to be a stigma surrounding new music that prevents many audiences from ever experiencing the sheer passion and beauty that is often created by today's many gifted composers. Fortunately, Christopher Rouse's music is heard relatively often, which is a blessing for both the composer and the listener.
The "Symphony #1" is one of Rouse's most tonal pieces. It was composed shortly after the extremely dissonant, atonal, and fast-paced "Gorgon"--Rouse describes the two as a "yin and yang to each other". Therefore, the aim of this piece is an adagio and tonal (though still dissonant, but do you expect otherwise from Rouse?) piece. The tonality is often blurred, but certain recurring melodic and rhythmic motives enrapture the listener. Rouse infuses too much passion and emotion into the score to solicit any loss of interest. In short, it's difficult to get bored during the 24 minutes that make up this piece.
"Phantasmata", on the other hand, is less emotionally taxing and more fun. It is a much more dissonant piece, which may turn off some listeners, but if you don't mind that sort of thing, this piece shouldn't be missed either.
I can't really comment on the performance, since there are no other recordings I know of that I can compare it with, but the Baltimore Symphony does justice to the demanding score.
It's a keeper.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars extraordinary music May 30 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Christopher Rouse has become one of America's most special and amazing composers. This is a wonderful recording of his deeply moving first symphony, a tragic but finally consoling work. David Zinman is one of Rouse's biggest champions, so I am certain that this recording represents the music as the composer wished it to sound. This is not difficult music to listen to in terms of style, though its dark message may make it hard for some to grapple with. Phantasmata is a more dissonant piece, but somehow it all turns out to be fun. This is extraordinary music.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Modern Music Dec 20 2008
By Jerry of San Francisco - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is powerful music. Though it is modern music, I think it will find a large audience of classical music and beyond. The theme is very sad throughout and reminds me of Wagner, Shostokovitch and Mahler. There are a couple of times when the music is quiet and suddently startles with it's intensity. The recording is good.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars product was fantastic June 5 2013
By marisa volino - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I needed this CD for a dance performance. The quality was perfect and it came in the mail in time for my deadline.
5.0 out of 5 stars Rouse will definitely stretch your musical envelope. It's fun and the sound is spectacular! Aug. 23 2014
By Joseph Kline PhD, MD - Published on Amazon.com
Christopher Rouse is a modern, living American composer with a very impressive Curriculum Vita and about 50 compositions to his credit. Born in Baltimore, MD, his music education includes a bachelor degree from Oberlin and graduate degrees from Cornell where he studied with Karel Husa. He also studied privately with George Crumb. He has held faculty positions at U. of Michigan, Eastman, and since 1997 at Juilliard. His most prominent composition student is Michael Torke. Stylistically, Rouse is considered a neoromantic composer. With regard to the present album, David Zinman leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Rubbra's Symphony No. 1 and Phantasmata.

Symphony 1 begins eerily with high violins that are subsequently joined by a tutti explosion. The 1st and only movement is largely comprised of this rather dark and frequently ominous music which at times increases in interest, texture, and dynamic volume. Still, it reminds you of the score to a fright film. To be fair, however, the music is of MUCH higher quality than most of those films. There is plenty of percussion bombast to work out your audio systems and prized subwoofers. At times, the music becomes conventionally and beautifully tonal. Rouse is a bit of a chameleon. I like that, but I sometimes wondered if we were stretching the definition of music as we know it. I have maintained for years that modern music, if nothing else, cleans the cobwebs out of our brains and prevents us from becoming stale in our listening habits. Symphony 1 does that job and does it well. It IS music, after all. It just isn't music we are accustomed to hearing. For me, it is worth repeated listening sessions.

Phantasmata has three movements with uncommon titles, like The Evestrum of Juan de la Cruz in the Sagrada Familia at 3 AM, The Infernal Machine, and Bump. Seriously! I'll just stick to the music here. The 1st movement is eerie. Like Symphony 1, Rouse inserts wild dynamically contrasting passages, although the movement is never bombastic. The 2nd movement is agitated with lots of ascending and descending glissandos, percussion effects, and a fascinating array of orchestral sonorities, pulsations and rhythms. It's actually fun to listen to. Promise. The 3rd movement, Bump, Rouse takes us on a Boston Pops tour from Hell, with gouhls and the like dancing around bumping into things and people. Another treat!

I would love to see the neuronal firing patterns in Zinman's brain as he conducts these works by Rouse. The Baltimore Symphony should never have to prove themselves again. I'm certain they had quite the workout. Much of this is music is fun to listen to. I am not going to try to tell you that I understand it well enough to give you an erudite analysis, but I think you will find it extremely enjoyable. (Plus, I like timpani, and there is plenty of it!) The sound is spectacular. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
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