George Rochberg

Composer(s): George Rochberg
Album Title: George Rochberg: String Quartets Nos. 3 - 6 
Cat. No.: 80551 (2 CDs)
Genre: Classical
Description: String Quartets Nos. 3 - 6

Concord String Quartet

Here at last is the long-awaited CD premiere of the works that were hailed as masterpieces at their New York premiere in 1979-the "Concord" Quartets of George Rochberg. These works undoubtedly represent one of the peaks of American chamber music of the last half of this century. This release will fill a major lacuna in the CD discography.

A highly respected practitioner of serialism, George Rochberg (b. 1918) underwent a major spiritual crisis in the early 1960s after the death of his son. The Third through Sixth quartets were the result of his struggle to find a language that could bear the weight of his sorrow and point to transcendence. Furthermore, it was a language that was immediately communicable to listeners.  Although he abandoned  serialism, his new style embraced both tonality and atonality, dramatically reinterpreting the notion of stylistic uniformity that had been a hallmark of the Western aesthetic since antiquity.

In these works, Rochberg boldly challenged the music world's status quo, and his challenge has resonated through the ensuing decades, shifting the profile of modern music at the century's close into a shape that thirty years ago would have been unthinkable. Definitive performances by the works' dedicatees, the Concord Quartet, the preeminent new music advocates of their day. 
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