JOHN ALAN ROSE (b.1972): Piano Concerto “Tolkien Tale”, Old Father Time for Cello and Orchestra, 25,000 Years of Peace for Violin and Orchestra, Ticket to the Theater for Soprano, Narrator and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 05T083
Label: Navona Records
Description: Very approachable neo-romanticism. The Piano Concerto was conceived after a reading of Tolkien's The Hobbit, and while not expressly programmatic the first movement in particular follows the general outlines and contrasting episodes and moods - humor, adventure, heroism, danger - of the book. Rose wears his influences fairly close to the surface - Saint-Saëns, Ravel, Rachmaninov (especially in the last movement), Prokofiev - and there is a suggestion of the modes of folk music. If the outer movements sprawl a bit and sometimes suggest the romantic pastiche of film music (the grey area between Rachmaninov and Addinsell), there are numerous delicious turns of phrase and the piece is never less than thoroughly enjoyable, and the writing for Rose's own instrument has all the hallmarks of a traditional virtuoso vehicle. 25,000 Years also sounds close to a conventional violin concerto, though in one span subdivided into short sections. The work is a tribute to Native American history and culture, and much of the material is derived from traditional melodies and rhythms (very familiar-sounding from Natalie Curtis' "The Indians' Book" and works based on it, like Busoni's Indianisches Fantasie). Old Father Time is more of a tone poem with cello obbligato, much of the work with the melancholy, heavy tread of Holst's Saturn, though with a wistful, contrasting section. Ticket... is also a kind of concertante work, for singer and actor with orchestra. A musical entertainment, it presents a rather silly Monty-Pythonesque narration about a theatre performance with only musicians, but the music is fun. John Alan Rose (piano), Jung Won Choi (cello), Moni Simeonov (violin), Sing Rose (soprano), Tyler Bunch (narrator), Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; Miran Vaupotić.