COMPOSER 1945–2013

Opus 68

Nocturne (1978)

for Orchestra


Duration: 12 min.

Dedication: to Louis Blois

Recording: Toccata TOCC0469

Contact us regarding perusal or performance materials.

Rosner composed his Nocturne in 1978, dedicating it to his former student Louis Blois, who later became a published authority on the music of Shostakovich and other Soviet composers. During the late 1970s Blois had been studying astronomy, and so Rosner sought in this work to suggest the movement of planetary bodies within the vastness of space. It begins by evoking a mysterious, swirling atmosphere, irregularly interrupted by sudden vehement outbursts. Gradually, melodic fragments begin to emerge, at first tentatively, then slowly taking shape within the ethereal backdrop. About halfway into the work, the melodic fragments coalesce into a passionate melody in the strings, still surrounded by the swirling gestures and textures. The melody develops further, achieving more prominence by the support of the rest of the orchestra. After a climax is reached, the intensity of the music gradually recedes into the eerie atmosphere with which the piece began. (Notes by Walter Simmons)