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Charles Rosen

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Biography

Charles Rosen started young, with piano lessons at the age of four, then studied at the Juilliard School from ages 7 to 11. For the next six years he was a pupil of Moriz Rosenthal (who in turn had been a pupil of Rafael Joseffy and Liszt). When Rosenthal died in 1946, Rosen continued studying with his widow, Hedwig Kanner-Rosenthal, for a total of eight years. He also studied music theory and composition with Karl Weigl, and at Princeton University majored in music history and romance languages. He received his B.A. summa cum laude in 1947; his M.A, in 1949, and his Ph.D. in 1951 -- the year he made his New York piano debut. In addition to concertizing, Rosen taught Modern Languages at MIT (1953-1955), returning to academe in 1971 as Professor of Music at SUNY in Stony Brook. In 1976-1977 he served as Ernest Bloch Professor of Music at UC Berkeley; held the prestigious Charles Eliot Norton Chair at Harvard in 1980-1981; was George Eastman Visiting Professor at Oxford in 1988, and from 1986 until his retirement in 1996, was Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and Music at the University of Chicago. In three farewell concerts there on successive nights he played Elliott Carter's Night Fantasies (as a guest of the Contemporary Chamber Players); a solo program of Beethoven (Op. 110 Sonata), Schumann (the original manuscript version of Fantasie in C), and Chopin (one of whose pupils had been the first teacher of Rosen's own beloved teacher, Moriz Rosenthal); and finally the Brahms First Piano Concerto with the University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Three years later in London he broadcast Rosen on Chopin, a series of programs on BBC Radio 3 commemorating the sesquicentennial of the composer's death. Concurrently with concertizing, he recorded for Columbia/CBS Masterworks -- Bach's Art of the Fugue, original editions of music by Schumann and Chopin, the Liszt First Piano Concerto (to the surprise of many unaware of his pedagogical heritage), Beethoven's last six sonatas (Opp. 90-111) and "Diabelli" Variations. He also recorded the complete solo piano music of Pierre Boulez, Stravinsky's Movements for Piano and Orchestra at the composer's request (with the composer conducting), and a CD of Elliott Carter's piano music: Night Fantasies, the Piano Sonata, and 90+ (composed in 1996). He also recorded Webern's Op. 7 Violin Pieces with the late Isaac Stern. Pianism and pedagogy were not Rosen's only areas of concentration, however. In 1971 he published the provocative first edition of The Classical Style, later reprinted in five languages, and revised in 1997 with an additional chapter. This was marketed with a CD of the author playing Beethoven's Opp. 106 and 110 sonatas. In 1995 he brought forth The Romantic Generation, which included a spirited and eloquent defense of Berlioz, and in 2000 published a selection of essays as Critical Entertainments. Among 20th century artists he was an intellectual of the first order -- perhaps the most authentic of all -- not excluding Alfred Brendel or Maurizio Pollini. If Rosen's piano tone was not always ingratiating or his style unbending, at his best he illuminated the keyboard music of Western history's most "serious" composers -- from Bach to Stravinsky, Carter and Boulez, by way of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, and Brahms. Nothing in his art was ever trivial. As a performer, educator, and writer in one package, Charles Rosen is likely always to be recognized as unique.
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Albums

Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Piano Sonata~I. Maestoso
  3.   Two Diversions: II. Diversion 2
  4.   90+
  5.   Retrouvailles
  6.   Two Diversions: I. Diversion 1
  7.   Night Fantasies
  8.   Piano Sonata~II. Andante
  9.   Var. 5
  10.   No. 10, Pour les sonorités opposées
  11.   Piano Piece, Op. 33a
  12.   XIX. Promenade - Comodo
  13.   II. Allegro molto
  14.   IV. So ich traurig bin
  15.   4. Ungeduldig
  16.   Var. 16, Ouverture
  17.   Keyboard Sonata in D Major, K. 140
  18.   Var. 15, Canone alla quinta
  19.   Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs - III. Lento, rubato
  20.   III. Lento, rubato
  21.   II. Le gibet
  22.   1. Lebhaft
  23.   Hommage à Haydn, L. 115
  24.   Canon per Augmentationem in contrario motu
  25.   L'Arlésienne Suite No. 1~Minuet
  26.   Keyboard Sonata in C Major, K. 159
  27.   Hungarian Rhapsody No. 10 in E major, S.244/10
  28.   III. Arlequin - Vivo
  29.   Hungarian Rhapsody No. 10 in E Major, S. 244
  30.   II. Andante con moto
  31.   I. Mit lebhaftigkeit und durchaus mit Empfindung und Ausdruck
  32.   Waltz No. 6 in D-Flat Major, Op. 64 No. 1 "Minute" (Arr. M. Rosenthal)
  33.   Var. 18, Canone alla sesta
  34.   Var. 4
  35.   17. Wie aus der Ferne
  36.   IV. Gleich und gleich
  37.   VI. Allegro moderato, molto capriccioso
  38.   II. Andante
  39.   Var. 3, Canone all'unisuono
  40.   Réminiscences de Don Juan, S.418
  41.   14. Zart und singend
  42.   Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21: I. Maestoso
  43.   Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs - VIII. Allegro
  44.   Var. 21, Canone alla settima
  45.   Piano Sonata No. 13 in B-Flat Major, K. 333/315c: I. Allegro
  46.   Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21: III. Allegro vivace
  47.   Contrapunctus IX à 4 alla Duodecima
  48.   II. Noch zwingt mich Treue
  49.   I. Mäßige Achtel
  50.   II. Assez large - Rapide
  51.   Sonata for Keyboard in C Major, Kk. 242 (L. 202)
  52.   VI. Florestan - Passionato
  53.   III. Adagio ma non troppo - Fuga. Allegro ma non troppo
  54.   Nocturnes, Op. 15: No. 2 in F-Sharp Major
  55.   No. 4, Bewegt
  56.   Var. 14
  57.   XVI. Valse allemande - Molto vivace
  58.   6. Sehr rasch
  59.   No. 3, Pour les quartes
  60.   Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major, S. 124: I. Allegro maestoso
  61.   II. Nicht zu geschwind und sehr singbar vorgetragen
  62.   Improvsations on Hungarian Peasant Songs - I. Molto moderato
  63.   L'isle joyeuse, L. 106
  64.   Var. 8
  65.   Mazurkas, Op. 6: No. 2 in C-Sharp Minor
  66.   18. Nicht schnell
  67.   No. 8, Pour les agréments
  68.   XV. Pantalon et Colombine - Presto
  69.   IV. Geschwind, doch nicht zu sehr, und mit Entschlossenheit
  70.   Contrapunctus V
  71.   Musical Offering, BWV 1079: Ricercar à 3
  72.   Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major, S. 124: IV. Allegro marziale animato
  73.   III. Adagio ma non troppo
  74.   Var. 30, Quodlibet
  75.   XIV. Reconnaissance - Animato
  76.   Var. 6, Canone alla seconda
  77.   XVII. Paganini - Intermezzo - Presto
  78.   Sonata for Keyboard in E Major, Kk. 134 (L. 221)
  79.   Var. 12, Canone alla quarta
  80.   Piano Sonata in B-Flat Major, K. 333: II. Andante cantabile
  81.   No. 6, Toccata
  82.   I. Wie bin ich froh!
  83.   I. Sehr mässig
  84.   I. Molto moderato
  85.   III. Äußerst ruhig
  86.   Piano Sonata No. 20, D. 959: III. Scherzo. Allegro vivace con Trio
  87.   Contrapunctus X à 4 alla Decima
  88.   Mazurkas, Op. 50: No. 3 in C-Sharp Minor
  89.   Canon alla Ottava
  90.   II. Lebhaft. Marschmäßig
  91.   IV. Largo - Allegro risoluto
  92.   I. Allegro
  93.   III. Finale. Allegro
  94.   I. Moderato
  95.   I. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo
  96.   II. Prestissimo
  97.   II. Sehr schnell
  98.   III. Schien mir's, als ich sah die Sonne
  99.   No. 2, Rasch
  100.   V. Kahl reckt der Baum
  101.   Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs: IV. Allegretto scherzando
  102.   II. Die geheimnisvolle Flöte
  103.   Var. 7
  104.   No. 2, Pour les tierces
  105.   I. Allegro moderato
  106.   Aria
  107.   No. 5, Pour les octaves
  108.   Berceuse héroïque, L. 132
  109.   Scherzo No. 3 in C sharp minor, Op. 39
  110.   Var. 27, Canone alla nona
  111.   Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major, S. 124: II. Quasi Adagio
  112.   Keyboard Sonata in E Major, K. 134
  113.   III. Langsam und sehnsuchtsvoll
  114.   Piano Sonata (rec. 25 April 1961): II. Andante
  115.   Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs: VI. Allegro moderato, molto capriccioso
  116.   Var. 2
  117.   Var. 25
  118.   Contrapunctus XI à 4
  119.   Sonata for Keyboard in D Major, Kk. 140 (L. 107)
  120.   2. Innig
  121.   Var. 28
  122.   II. Es stürzt aus Höhen Frische
  123.   Piano Sonata in B-Flat Major, K. 333: I. Allegro
  124.   Var. 20
  125.   Canon alla Duodecima in Contrapunto alla Quinta
  126.   Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52
  127.   VIII. Allegro
  128.   Keyboard Sonata in F major, K.44
  129.   Carnaval de Vienne
  130.   Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21: II. Larghetto
  131.   XI. Chiarina - Passionato
  132.   9. Lebhaft
  133.   Contrapunctus X alla Decima