Pierre Boulez, Vol. IV;   Leonard Rose         (St Laurent Studio YSL T-361)
Item# C1448
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Pierre Boulez, Vol. IV;   Leonard Rose         (St Laurent Studio YSL T-361)
C1448. PIERRE BOULEZ Cond. Boston S.O.: Symphonies of Wind Instruments (Stravinsky); Three Pieces for Orchestra, Op.6 (Berg) - Live Performance, 11 Feb., 1969, Symphony Hall; PIERRE BOULEZ Cond. Cleveland S.O., w.LEONARD ROSE: Cello Concerto in a (Schumann), Live Performance, 28 July, 1969, Blossom Festival; Interview with Pierre Boulez. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-361. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.


“Leonard Rose was best known for his fresh, full-bodied and expressive interpretations of the standard cello repertory - particularly music of the Romantic era. However, he did not limit himself to 19th-century material and made a fascinating recording of Bach's viola da gamba sonatas with the pianist Glenn Gould in the early 1970's. Mr. Rose also excelled in contemporary material: Bloch's ‘Schelomo’ was one of his specialties, and he commissioned - and later recorded - a cello concerto entitled ‘A Song of Orpheus’ from the composer William Schuman.

In addition to his performing career, Mr. Rose was one of the most important cello teachers of his time. He taught at the Juilliard School of Music from 1947 until his death (1984), and at the Curtis Institute from 1952 until 1962. At one point four of the cellists in the Philadelphia Orchestra, five in the New York Philharmonic, six in the Cleveland Orchestra and seven in the Boston Symphony Orchestra had been protégés of Mr. Rose. Erich Leinsdorf used to refer to the Boston cellists as the ‘Rose section’. Other pupils included Lynn Harrell and Yo-Yo Ma.

After one season he left New York to become the principal cellist in the Cleveland Orchestra from 1939 to 1943. He then joined the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, where he served as principal cellist from 1943 until 1951, making his concerto debut at Carnegie Hall in 1944. By 1949, Mr. Rose had been the soloist with the Philharmonic 18 times, playing works by Schumann, Dvorák and Lalo, among others. He made his last appearance with the Philharmonic at the 1951 Edinburgh Festival, and then left to pursue a successful solo career.

During the 1950s Mr. Rose began to play regularly with Mr. Stern and Mr. Istomin, initially only for personal enjoyment. In 1961, they decided to form a professional chamber-music trio. In the succeeding decade the Rose-Stern- Istomin trio made many recordings and gave concerts throughout the world, touring together for a part of every year. In 1970 - the Beethoven bicentennial year - the trio gave 50 concerts of the composer's music in the United States, Brazil, England, Ireland, Switzerland, France and Israel."

- Tim Page - THE NEW YORK TIMES, 19 Nov., 1984

“Cellist Leonard Rose was an artist who touched upon virtually every facet of the music industry with almost universal success. Early in his career he led the cello sections of many of the nation's finest orchestras, including NBC under Toscanini, and the Cleveland Orchestra and New York Philharmonic under Rodzinski. These early achievements were followed by fame as a soloist, sought-after chamber music collaborator, recitalist, and teacher to some of today's greatest cellists. This two disc-set gives listeners a glimpse at one of these facets, that of recitalist. While many of Rose's concerto performances are generally accessible, recital performances are hard to come by, so to have two complete discs of such performances is truly a treasure. As in his concerto playing, Rose's playing is clean and unassuming, muscular….the program features many of the most prominent sonatas for the cello, including Franck, Martinu, Barber, Debussy, Chopin...the list goes on.”

- Mike D. Brownell, ROVI

“’Audacity, innovation, creativity — that is what Pierre Boulez was for French music, which he helped shine everywhere in the world’.

Mr. Boulez belonged to an extraordinary generation of European composers who emerged in the postwar years while still in their 20s. They started a revolution in music, and Mr. Boulez was in the front ranks.

But his influence was equally large on the podium. In time he began giving ever more attention to conducting, where his keen ear and rhythmic incisiveness could produce a startling clarity. (There are countless stories of him detecting faulty intonation, say, from the third oboe in a complex piece.) He reached his peak as a conductor in the 1960s, when he began to appear with some of the world’s great orchestras, like the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra. By the early ’70s, he had succeeded Leonard Bernstein as music director of the New York Philharmonic, an appointment that startled the music world and led to a fitful tenure. It was his reputation as an avant-garde composer and as a champion of new music that prompted his unexpected appointment in New York. After the initial shock at his arrival, there was hope that he might bring the orchestra into the 20th century and appeal to younger audiences. But his programming often met with hostility in New York, and he left quietly six years later. ‘I had to learn about that music, to find out how it was made’, he once told OPERA NEWS. ‘It was a revelation - a music for our time, a language with unlimited possibilities. No other language was possible. It was the most radical revolution since Monteverdi. Suddenly, all our familiar notions were abolished. Music moved out of the world of Newton and into the world of Einstein’. To start on this route, he took lessons in 1945-46 with René Leibowitz, a Schönbergian who had settled in Paris. Soon he was integrating what had been separate paths of development in the music of the previous 40 years: Schönberg’s serialism, Stravinsky’s rhythmic innovations and Messiaen’s enlarged notion of mode. As Mr. Boulez saw it, all these composers had failed to pursue their most radical impulses, and it fell to a new generation - specifically, to him - to pick up the torch.

‘He never ceased to think about subjects in relation to one another; he made painting, poetry, architecture, cinema and music communicate with each other, always in the service of a more humane society’, the office of President François Hollande said in a statement. Even so, the achievements embodied in his published works and recordings are formidable, and his influence was incalculable. The tasks he took on were heroic: to continue the great adventure of musical modernism, and to carry with him the great musical institutions and the widest possible audience.”

- Paul Griffiths, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 6 Jan., 2016