3 Sep 2020
Rosner, who was born in New York City in 1945 and lived and composed there for most of his life, wrote the work at the age of 28. His sister Irene Rosner David (pictured above at Abbey Road Studios) has since been working hard to make new recordings of his compositions since his death on his 68th birthday in 2013.
Music Director David Temple and 85 singers from the choir recorded the Requiem with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of American conductor Nick Palmer at Abbey Road Studios in London in July 2019.
It was produced by Rosner’s long-term friend Walter Simmons, with Temple conducting the acapella Madrigal section of the work.
“I remember dearly how Irene was so pleased with the recording on the day,” Temple said. “I worked closely with Jonathan Allen on the mixing desk, and I’m very excited that people are now going to be able to hear and enjoy this work.”
The Requiem sets spiritual and secular texts on death from a number of the world’s cultures, including Whitman, Villon, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, a sutra from Zen Buddhism and the Jewish Kaddish.
Rosner’s musical language clothes the modal harmony and rhythm of pre-Baroque polyphony in rich Romantic colours, producing a style that is instantly recognisable and immediately appealing.
The recording also features soprano Kelley Hollis, countertenor Feargal Mostyn-Williams, tenor Thomas Elwin and baritone Gareth Brynmor John.
Review by Guy Rickards, Gramaphone
"Critics Choice Alert! The Requiem by Arnold Rosner is magnificent...an astonishing acheievement....The four soloists sing immaculately but are outshone by the wonderful Crouch End Festival Chorus...I cannot recommend this highly enough"