From coast to coast in the U.S. and all the way to Poland faculty composer and Department Chair Mathew Rosenblum’s recent compositions are receiving frequent performances and admiration of performers and audiences alike.
This November, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra will present Rosenblum’s critically acclaimed concerto Lament/Witches’ Sabbath twice: at the Eufonie Festival in Warsaw (November 15) and again in Katowice (November 17). Later in November, Boston Modern Orchestra Project will present the work in Boston at Jordan Hall. Clarinetist David Krakauer, who premiered Lament/Witches’ Sabbath (and with whom Rosenblum collaborated closely during its composition), will be the soloist for all upcoming performances. The concerto is dedicated to Rosenblum’s grandparents who escaped the 1919 pogrom in Proskurov Ukraine. Rosenblum recounts hearing his grandmother tell the story of his family’s narrow escape amidst tears and wailing. The composition combines audio of Ukrainian and Jewish lament, his grandmother’s voice, Krakauer’s klezmer infused clarinet, and a strong allusion to Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique — all embedded in Rosenblum’s microtonal harmonic palate.
The exciting schedule of performances in November follows an October which saw LA-based Brightwork New Music tour Rosenblum’s 2013 composition Falling throughout California. The composition for soprano and chamber ensemble, which was commissioned by the Barlow Endowment and premiered by the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, takes its name from James Dickey’s poem about a flight attendant who fell from a plane to her death when the emergency exit door detached in mid-flight.
Both pieces can be heard on New Focus Recording’s all-Rosenblum album Lament/Witches Sabbath, available wherever fine music is sold and on all major streaming services.
Listen to Mathew Rosenblum discuss the inspiration for Lament/Witches' Sabbath on the Music at Pitt Podcast.