CD Review: “ONE – chamber music of Kurt Rohde” – Gramophone Magazine
by Laurence Vittes
This CD from Innova introduces this composer with a variety of 15- to 20- minute musical entities that follow no identifiable musical stream but can leave no listener undisturbed.
Instead, each piece, as the notes imply, follows its own uniquely arresting course with determined intensity and a concentrated use of resources. Nothing seems to happen casually, so the influences that permeate Rohde’s music – from the Baroque to the Beatles, Elton John and Joni Mitchell – become indivisible parts of a dynamic, energetic, occasionally noisy, and sometimes turgid flow.
The Violin Concertino, with its use of traditional tune types and rhetoric, is the most immediately accessible music on the disc. Its slow, haunting middle movement makes the perfect bridge between the outer movements’ virtuoso displays for 1998 Naumburg Award-winner Axel Strauss.