Ned Rorem

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Ned Rorem
Born October 23, 1923 (1923-10-23) (age 91)
Richmond, Indiana
Nationality American
Occupation composer
Notable work(s) The Paris Diary of Ned Rorem
Religion Atheist (None)[1]
Awards Pulitzer Prize For Music (1976)

Ned Rorem (born October 23, 1923[2]) is an American composer and diarist, best known and most praised for his song settings. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1976.[3]

Life[edit]

Rorem was born in Richmond, Indiana and received his early education in Chicago at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, the American Conservatory of Music and then Northwestern University. Later, Rorem moved on to the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and finally the Juilliard School in New York City.

In 1966 he published The Paris Diary of Ned Rorem, which, with his later diaries, has brought him some notoriety, as he is honest about his and others' sexuality, describing his relationships with Leonard Bernstein, Noël Coward, Samuel Barber, and Virgil Thomson, and outing several others[vague] (Aldrich and Wotherspoon, eds., 2001). Rorem has written extensively about music as well. These essays are collected in anthologies such as Setting the Tone, Music From the Inside Out, and Music and People. His prose is much admired, not least for its barbed observations about such prominent musicians as Pierre Boulez. Rorem has composed in a chromatic tonal idiom throughout his career, and he is not hesitant to attack the orthodoxies of the avant-garde.

His notable students include Daron Hagen.

Selected works[edit]

Operas[edit]

[Miss Julie and Our Town are his only full length operas.]

Symphonies[edit]

Symphony No. 1 (1950) [Peermusic Classical][edit]

The First symphony is cast in four fairly brief movements: I. Maestoso II. Andantino III. Largo IV: Allegro. and is scored for full orchestra. Rorem has written of this work:

There are as many definitions of symphony as there are symphonies. In Haydn's day it usually meant an orchestral piece in four movements, of which the first was in so-called sonata form. But with Bach, and later with Beethoven through Stravinsky, Symphony means whatever the composer decides.

Symphony No. 2 (1956) [Boosey & Hawkes][edit]

The Second Symphony is cast in 3 movements of unequal proportion; the 2nd & 3rd combined being less than half the length of the first; I. Broad, Moderate II. Tranquillo III. Allegro. The Second Symphony is probably the composer's least performed. Composed in 1956 it was only performed a handful of times and has remained dormant since 1959 until, as the composer puts it, "José Serebrier resurrected" it 43 years later.

Symphony No. 3 (1958) [Boosey & Hawkes][edit]

The Third Symphony is cast in 5 movements: I. Pasacaglia II. Allegro molto vivace III. Largo IV. Andante V. Allegro molto. It is perhaps the best known of Rorem's numbered symphonies, having been premiered by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, April 1959. 3 recordings have been issued over the years, though none but the most recent Naxos recording have remained in the catalogue for very long. Notable conductors of this work include: Maurice Abravanel, Leonard Bernstein, André Previn & José Serebrier. For the Naxos recording the composer noted:

Of the five movements the second was written first, the first was second, the fourth was third, the third fourth, and the last was written last. I is a Passacaglia in C, a slow overture in the grand style. II was written originally for two pianos eight years before the rest, and incorporated as the second movement of the symphony. It is a brisk and jazzy dance. III is a short, passionate page about somnambulism, full of dynamic contrast, and coming from afar. IV is a farewell to France. V is a long and fast Rondo, in itself a Concerto for Orchestra.

Orchestral[edit]

  • Piano Concerto No. 1 (1948), for piano & orchestra (withdrawn)
  • From an Unknown Past (1950), for voice & orchestra
  • Symphony No. 1 (1950)
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 (1951), for piano & orchestra
  • Design (1953)
  • Poèmes pour la paix (1953/56), for voice & string orchestra
  • Symphony No. 2 (1956)
  • Sinfonia (1957), for orchestral winds with optional timpani, percussion and piano/celeste
  • Eagles (1958)
  • Pilgrims (1958), for string orchestra
  • Symphony No. 3 (1958)
  • Ideas (1961), for chamber/youth orchestra
  • Lions (A Dream) (1963), for jazz quartet & orchestra
  • Sun (1966), for high voice & orchestra
  • Water Music (1966), for clarinet, violin & orchestra
  • Piano Concerto No. 3 (1969), for piano & orchestra
  • Air Music (1974)
  • Assembly and Fall (1975), for oboe, trumpet, timpani, viola & orchestra
  • A Quaker Reader (1976/88), for chamber orchestra
  • Sunday Morning (1977)
  • Remembering Tommy (1979), for piano, cello & orchestra
  • After Long Silence (1982), for voice, oboe & strings
  • Violin Concerto (1984), for violin & orchestra
  • Organ Concerto (1985), for organ & chamber orchestra
  • String Symphony (1985), for string orchestra
  • Frolic (1986)
  • The Schuyler Songs (1987), for soprano & orchestra
  • Fantasy and Polka (1989)
  • Swords and Plowshares (1990), for four solo voices & orchestra
  • Piano Concerto No. 4 (1991), for piano (left hand) & orchestra
  • Concerto for English Horn (1991–92), for english horn & orchestra
  • Triptych (1992), for chamber orchestra
  • More Than A Day (1995), for soprano/countertenor & chamber orchestra
  • Waiting (1996)
  • Double Concerto (1998), for violin, cello & orchestra
  • Cello Concerto (2002), for cello & orchestra
  • Flute Concerto (2002), for flute & orchestra
  • Mallet Concerto (2003), for percussion & orchestra
  • Eleven Songs for Susan (2007), for mezzo-soprano & chamber orchestra
  • Songs Old and New (2008), for soprano & orchestra

Chamber[edit]

  • Concertino de Camera (1946), for harpsichord & small ensemble
  • Mountain Song (1948), for flute/oboe/violin/cello & piano
  • Dance Suite (1949), for two pianos
  • Sicilienne (1950), for two pianos
  • Violin Sonata (1954), for violin & piano
  • Eleven Studies for Eleven Players (1959–60), for large ensemble
  • Trio (1960), for flute, cello & piano
  • Lovers (1964), for harpsichord, oboe, cello & percussion
  • Day Music (1971), for violin & piano
  • Night Music (1972), for violin & piano
  • Solemn Prelude (1973), for eleven brass
  • Book of Hours (1975), for flute & harp
  • Romeo and Juliet (1977), for flute & guitar
  • Three Slow Pieces (1978), for cello & piano
  • Whales, Weep Not! (1978), for flute & piano
  • Winter Pages (1981), for clarinet, bassoon, violin, cello & piano
  • Picnic on the Marne (1983), for alto saxophone & piano
  • Dances (1984), for cello & piano
  • Septet Scenes from Childhood (1984–85), for oboe, horn, piano & string quartet
  • The End of Summer (1985), for violin, clarinet & piano
  • Bright Music (1987), for flute, two violins, cello & piano
  • Fanfare and Flourish (1988), for two trumpets, two trombones & organ
  • Diversions (1990), for brass quintet
  • Spring Music (1990), for piano trio
  • String Quartet No. 3 (1991)
  • Songs of Sadness (1994), for voice, guitar, cello & clarinet
  • String Quartet No. 4 (1994)
  • Six Variations (1995), for two pianos - four hands
  • Autumn Music (1996–97), for violin & piano
  • An Oboe Book (1999), for oboe & piano
  • Cries and Whispers (2000), for trumpet & piano
  • Nine Episodes for Four Players (2001), for clarinet, violin, cello & piano
  • United States - Seven Viewpoints (2001), for string quartet
  • Pas de Trois (2002), for oboe, violin & piano
  • The Unquestioned Answer (2002), for flute, two violins, cello & piano
  • Four Colours (2003), for clarinet & piano
  • Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (2004), for piano quartet
  • Four Prayers (2006), for flute & piano
  • Nocturne (2007), for double bass & piano
  • A Little Fantasy (2008), for cello & piano

Vocal[edit]

  • Two Poems of Edith Sitwell (1948), for medium-high voice & piano
  • Requiem (1948), for voice & piano
  • From an Unknown Past (1950), for voice & piano/orchestra
  • Cycle of Holy Songs (1951), for voice & piano
  • Flight for Heaven (1952), song-cycle for voice & piano
  • Four Dialogues (1953–54), for soprano, tenor & two pianos
  • Three Poems for Demetrios Capetanakis (1954), for voice & piano
  • Poèmes pour la paix (1953/56), for medium voice & strings
  • Five Poems of Walt Whitman (1957), for voice & piano
  • Two Poems of Theodore Roethke (1959) for voice & piano
  • King Midas (1961), cantata for voice(s) & piano
  • Four Poems of Tennyson (1963), for voice & piano
  • Poems of Love and the Rain (1963), song-cycle for mezzo-soprano & piano
  • Sun (1966), for high voice & orchestra
  • Some Trees (1968), for soprano, mezzo-soprano, bass-baritone & piano
  • War Scenes (1969), for medium-low voice & piano
  • Gloria (1970), for two solo voices & piano
  • Ariel (1971), for soprano, clarinet & piano
  • Last Poems of Wallace Stevens (1971–72), for voice, cello & piano
  • Serenade on Five English Poems (1975), for mezzo-soprano, violin, viola & piano
  • Women's Voices (1975–76), for soprano & piano
  • Santa Fe Songs (1980), for baritone, string trio & piano
  • After Long Silence (1982), for soprano, oboe & strings
  • Three Calamus Poems (1982), for baritone & piano
  • The Schuyler Songs (1987), for soprano & orchestra
  • The Auden Poems (1989), for tenor & piano trio
  • Swords and Plowshares (1990), for solo voices & orchestra
  • My Sad Captains (1995), for soprano, alto, tenor, bass & piano
  • Evidence of Things Not Seen (1997), thirty-six songs for soprano, alto, tenor, baritone & piano
  • Another Sleep (2000), song-cycle for medium voice & piano
  • Two Sermons (2001), for voice, clarinet, violin, double bass & piano
  • Aftermath (2001–02), song-cycle for baritone, violin, cello & piano
  • Sound the Flute (2004), for high voice, recorder & piano
  • Eleven Songs for Susan (2007), for mezzo-soprano & chamber orchestra
  • Three Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay (2007), for voice & piano
  • Songs Old and New (2008), for soprano & orchestra
  • Four Sonnets of Shakespeare (2008), for tenor & piano
  • Sonnet 144 (Two Loves I Have) (2010), for soprano, mezzo-soprano & piano

Selected songs[edit]

[All with piano accompaniment, except where stated otherwise.]

  • Alleluia (1946)
  • Spring and Fall (1946)
  • Spring (1947)
  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (1947)
  • The Lordly Hudson (1947)
  • Echo's Song (1948)
  • Little Elegy (1949)
  • Rain in Spring (1949)
  • The Silver Swan (1949)
  • The Sleeping Palace (1949)
  • What If Some Little Pain (1949)
  • Julia's Clothes (1950)
  • Lullaby of the Woman of the Mountain (1950)
  • To the Willow Tree (1950)
  • Love in a Life (1951)
  • O Do Not Love Too Long (1951)
  • The Call (1951)
  • The Nightingale (1951)
  • To a Young Girl (1951)
  • A Christmas Carol (1952)
  • Clouds (1953)
  • Cradle Song (1953)
  • For Susan (1953)
  • In a Gondola (1953)
  • Love (1953)
  • Ode (1953)
  • Pippa's Song (1953)
  • Sally's Smile (1953)
  • Song for a Girl (1953)
  • The Tulip Tree (1953)
  • The Midnight Sun (1953)
  • Early in the Morning (1954)
  • Youth, Day, Old Age and Night (1954)
  • I Am Rose (1955)
  • I Will Always Love You (1955)
  • See How They Love Me (1956)
  • What Sparks and Wiry Cries (1956)
  • Conversation (1957)
  • Gliding O'er All (1957)
  • Gods (1957)
  • Look Down, Fair Moon (1957)
  • O You to Whom I Often and Silently Come (1957)
  • Reconciliation (1957)
  • Sometimes With One I Love (1957)
  • Such Beauty as Hurts to Behold (1957)
  • To You (1957)
  • Visits to St. Elizabeth's (1957)
  • I Strolled Across an Open Field (1959)
  • Memory (1959)
  • My Papa's Waltz (1959)
  • Night Crow (1959)
  • Orchids (1959)
  • Root Cellar (1959)
  • Snake (1959)
  • The Waking (1959)
  • Do I love you more than a day? (1962)
  • Ask Me No More (1963)
  • Far-Far-Away (1963)
  • For Poulenc (1963)
  • Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal (1963)
  • The Sleeping Palace (1963)
  • That Shadow, My Likeness (1963)
  • To You (1970)
  • Trickle Drops (1970)
  • The Serpent (1972)
  • We Never Said Farewell (1975–76)
  • A Journey (1976)
  • Ferry me across the water (1978)
  • From When Cometh Song? (1978)
  • The Dance (1978)
  • Nantucket (1978–79)
  • Go, Lovely Rose (1979)
  • The Dancer (1979)
  • Up-Hill (1979)
  • Back to Life (1980) [accomp. double bass]
  • Sonnet (1980) [accomp. piano quartet]
  • The Sowers (1980) [accomp. piano quartet]
  • The Wintry Mind (1980)
  • Let's Take a Walk (1981)
  • Anna la Bonne (1989)
  • Are You the New Person? (1989)
  • Full of Life Now (1989)
  • I Will Always Love You (1990)
  • A Dream of Nightingales (1992)
  • Their Lonely Betters (1992)
  • Somewhere... (1994)
  • Three Women (1994)
  • Remembrance of Things Past (1998)
  • Chromatic Fantasy (2001)
  • He Will Not Hear (2001)
  • I Never Knew (2001)
  • The End (2003)
  • While Sodom Was Occupied (2004)
  • The Stars Have Not Dealt (2007)
  • A Poison Tree (2007)
  • Death and the Young Man (2007)
  • Wild Nights (2007)

Choral[edit]

  • The Seventieth Psalm (1943), for S.A.T.B. choir & wind ensemble
  • A Sermon on Miracles (1947), for soprano solo, unison choir & strings
  • Four Madrigals (1947), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Three Incantations from a Marionette Tale (1948), for unison choir & piano
  • From an Unknown Past (1950), for S.A.T.B. choir & orchestra
  • I Feel Death... (1953), for three-part a cappella male choir
  • The Poets' Requiem (1954–55), soprano solo, S.A.T.B. choir & orchestra
  • All Glorious God (1955), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Sing, My Soul, His Wondrous Love (1955), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Miracles of Christmas (1959), for S.A.T.B. choir & organ
  • Prayers and Responses (1960), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Virelai (1961), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Two Psalms and a Proverb (1962), for S.A.T.B. choir & string quartet
  • Lift up your Heads (The Ascension) (1963), for S.A.T.B. choir, eight wind, nine brass & timpani
  • Laudemus Tempus Actum (1964), for S.A.T.B. choir & orchestra
  • Letters from Paris (1966), for S.A.T.B. choir & orchestra
  • Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (1966), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Proper for the Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit (1966), for unison choir & organ
  • Truth in the Night Season (1966), for S.A.T.B. choir & organ
  • He Shall Rule from Sea to Sea (1967), for S.A.T.B. choir & organ
  • Praises for the Nativity (1970), for soprano, alto, tenor & bass soli, S.A.T.B. choir & organ
  • Canticle of the Lamb (1971), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Canticles: Sets 1 & 2 (1971–72), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Four Hymns (1973), for S.A.T.B. choir & keyboard
  • In Time of Pestilence (1973), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Little Prayers (1973), for soprano & baritone soli, S.A.T.B. choir & orchestra
  • Missa Brevis (1973), for soprano, alto, tenor & bass soli, & S.A.T.B. choir
  • Prayer to Jesus (1973), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Three Motets (1973), for S.A.T.B. choir & organ
  • Three Prayers (1973), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Surge Illuminare (1977), for S.A.T.B. choir & organ
  • Three Choruses for Christmas (1978), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Give All to Love (1981), for two-part choir & piano
  • Little Lamb, Who Made Thee? (1982), for S.A.T.B. choir & organ
  • Praise the Lord, O My Soul (1982), for S.A.T.B. choir & organ
  • An American Oratorio (1983), for tenor solo, S.A.T.B. choir & orchestra
  • Mercy and Truth Are Met (1983), for S.A.T.B. choir & organ
  • Whitman Cantata (1983), for S.A.T.B. choir, brass ensemble & timpani
  • Pilgrim Strangers (1984), for six a cappella male voices
  • Before the Morning Star (1986), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Homer (1986), for S.A.T.B. choir & ensemble
  • Seven Motets for the Church Year (1986), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Three Poems of Baudelaire (1986), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Te Deum (1986–87), for S.A.T.B. choir, two trumpets, two trombones & organ
  • Five Armenian Love Songs (1987), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • The Death of Moses (1987), for S.A.T.B. choir & organ
  • What is Pink? (1987), for treble choir & piano
  • Goodbye My Fancy (1988), for alto & baritone soli, S.A.T.B. choir & orchestra
  • Lead Kindly Light (1988), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Breathe On Me (1989), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Love Alone (1989), for male-voice choir & piano duet
  • Christ is made the sure foundation (1992), for S.A.T.B. choir & organ
  • Festival Alleluia (1992), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • O God, My Heart is Ready (1992), for S.A.T.B. choir & organ
  • Spirit Divine (1992), for S.A.T.B. choir & organ
  • Present Laughter (1993), for S.A.T.B. choir, brass quintet & piano
  • How Lovely is your Dwelling Place (1994), for S.A.T.B. choir & piano/organ
  • Exaltabo Te, Domine (1995), for S.A.T.B. choir & keyboard
  • Four Introits (1999), for S.A.T.B. choir & keyboard
  • We Are the Music Makers (2003), for S.A.T.B. choir & piano
  • A Song of Hosea (2005), for S.A.T.B. choir & organ
  • Four Sonnets (2005), for S.A.T.B. choir & piano
  • Ode to Man (2005), for a cappella S.A.T.B. choir
  • Afternoon on a Hill (2006), for two-part children's choir & piano
  • Two Shakespearean Poems (2008), for S.A.T.B. choir & piano

Solo instrumental[edit]

  • Fantasy and Toccata (1946), for organ
  • Sonata No. 1 (1948), for piano
  • A Quiet Afternoon (1948), for piano
  • Barcarolles (1949), for piano
  • Pastorale (1949), for organ
  • Sonata No. 2 (1949), for piano
  • Sonata No. 3 (1954), for piano
  • Spiders (1968), for harpsichord
  • Eight Etudes (1975), for piano
  • A Quaker Reader (1976), for organ
  • Sky Music (1976), for harp
  • After Reading Shakespeare (1980), for cello
  • Suite (1980), for guitar
  • Views from the Oldest House (1981), for organ
  • Song and Dance (1986), for piano
  • For Shirley (1989), for piano duet
  • Organbook I. (1989), for organ
  • Organbook II. (1989), for organ
  • Organbook III. (1989), for organ
  • Six Pieces (1997), for organ
  • 99 Notes for the Millenium (1999), for piano
  • For Ben (1999), for piano
  • Recalling (2003), for piano
  • Soundpoints (2003), for piano
  • For Barbara (2006), for piano
  • For Don (2006), for piano
  • For Marian (2006), for piano
  • For Mary (2006), for piano
  • For Rosemary (2006), for piano
  • 75 Notes for Jerry (2007), for piano

Current/recent projects[edit]

Rorem is currently working on a saxophone concerto for Branford Marsalis.[4] He was commissioned in 2010 to write a piece for clarinet, cello and piano for clarinetist Thomas Piercy. He has recently written Four Sonnets of Shakespeare for tenor Andrew Kennedy, which premières at Wigmore Hall, London on September 27, 2009, and a song-cycle Songs Old and New, written in 2008 for soprano Mary Wilson and premièred by Wilson and the IRIS Chamber Orchestra under Michael Stern in November 2009.[5]

Recordings[edit]

Ned Rorem's works have been extensively recorded. The information below is very scant. For more information, please consult Ned Rorem's own official website in the External Links (below).

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.newmusicbox.org/articles/ned-rorem-at-home/
  2. ^ Smith, Steve (October 25, 2013). "Celebrating Ned Rorem’s 90th Birthday". New York Times. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Music". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  4. ^ "Happy 85th Birthday, Ned Rorem". Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  5. ^ "Ned Rorem, performances 2008/09". Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  6. ^ Andrew Clements (31 March 2000). "Other classical releases". The Guardian. 
  7. ^ Classics Today (David Hurwitz) [1] 16 August 2003
  8. ^ "Ned Rorem Biography". Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
Other sources
  • Aldrich, Robert and Wotherspoon, Gary (Eds.) (2001). Who's Who in Contemporary Gay & Lesbian History: From World War II to the Present Day. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-22974-X.

External links[edit]