For fans of David Lang and/or one of the country’s best choirs, this is a can’t-miss release; Christopher Rouse’s Fifth is about as fresh and engaging a Symphony as the composer wrote; Hub New Music plays the daylights out of Robert Honstein’s Soul House.
Many of the qualities that mark Penderecki’s best work – exquisite technique, an innate feel for rhythmic athleticism, an ear for dazzling colors and theatrical gestures, an impeccable sense of musical structure, and the affinity for emotional immediacy – are also hallmarks of Rouse’s.
I make no claims to have listened to everything released in 2016; here are my picks for the top classical recordings of the year.
There’s a lot of music by Christopher Rouse to appreciate, ponder, puzzle over, and study in what we’ve got here.
Christopher Rouse is a tough composer to pin down and that stylistic unpredictability has, in part, provided his music notable expressive breadth.