by Ben Hogwood
In the last week we have learned of the sad news of the death of Ned Rorem, albeit at the wonderful age of 99. The American composer was much loved for his insistence on sticking to a style of music that he ‘wanted to hear’, as this excellent obituary from Guy Rickards for The Guardian states.
The Indiana-born Rorem leaves us with a good deal of vocal and instrumental music, much of it in a short form and with over 500 songs. Yet he showed himself more than capable of mastering longer forms too, with three symphonies, numerous concertos and a number of stage works. The playlist below draws from all corners of his compositional output, showing his way with a tune, his ability as a fine orchestrator and the way he wrote so winsomely for the human voice. There are two concertos here – for violin and for mallet instruments, a recent concerto recording with Dame Evelyn Glennie as soloist. Hope you enjoy the music!