ARNOLD ROSNER (b.1945): Piano Sonatas No. 1 in F, Op. 25, No. 2 in A, Op. 48 & No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 69 "Sonata Eterea", Adam and Eve, Op. 4, And He Sent Forth a Dove, Op. 49, Wedding March, Op. 53, Etz Chaim, Op. 99.
Catalogue Number: 07L097
Reference: TROY 1119
Description: Rosner embraced the unfashionably conservative idiom which seemed natural to him at a time when the avant garde was at its most experimental, and remaining resolutely unapologetic he has periodically engaged in spirited polemics against the excesses of modernism ever since. These pieces are thus tonal, or more accurately modal, with much employment of unexpected combinations of scales in the manner of (though not often to the same effect as) Busoni or his disciple, Stevenson. In Rosner's case the modal inflections to his harmonic language frequently suggest a middle-Eastern background, specifically Jewish melody, sometimes explicitly referenced in the pieces' subject-matter. The two early sonatas are rather neoclassical in layout, with suggestions of a ready acquaintance with Prokofiev and Bartók and a delight in jazzy syncopation. The third strongly contrasts with the other two in mood, emphasizing a meditative, songlike mood and an archaic harmonic purity that looks back to Purcell or Tallis (via Vaughan Williams, apparently a great enthusiasm of Rosner's). Highly individual music despite its complete avoidance of modern tendencies. Donna Amato (piano).