ARNOLD ROSNER
COMPOSER 1945–2013

Opus 101

Danses à la mode (1994)

for Cello

  • À la Greque
  • Raga
  • Sarabande
  • Musique du Nord

Duration: 9 min.

Dedication: to Jan Naigus

Premiere: 1995; D. Cowley; Oshkosh, WI

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During his years on the faculty of Kingsborough Community College, Rosner began to teach various courses in ethnomusicology, which provided an impetus for him to investigate the music of many countries and cultures. These explorations bore fruit in a number of his own compositions, including Danses à la mode. In addition to the obvious musical reference (modal music, important in both the ethnic music of many cultures and Rosner’s own language), the title is also a bit tongue-in-cheek, given Rosner’s lifelong interest in all matters culinary.

The first movement À la Greque is in a fast 7/8 meter, with inflections characteristic of Greek folk music. Even before his teaching days, Rosner was interested in Indian music, and its influence appeared in a few of his compositions, including the second movement of this suite, as well as the concert band work RAGA!, a much more extended exploration of the raga concept. The third movement, Sarabande, pays homage to the baroque dance form. Musique du Nord evokes Scandinavian dance music. (Notes by Carson Cooman)