Roger Lasher Nortman Symphony No. 4 In C Sharp Minor and Symphony No. 11 in B Minor (Powers of 11) Genre: Neoclassical, Avant-garde, Orchestral, Period
Symphony No. 4, written in 1980 is the most anti-Romantic piece of Mr. Nortman’s, which is very different as Mr. Nortman is primarily a Romantic composer. The first movement features a xylophone, which is a deliberate rebellion against Romantic writing. This piece shines as a Neoclassical work with subtle variations of Avant-garde themes. Each section of the orchestra plays its part magnificently in conveying what Mr. Nortman’s vision of this non-Romantic piece should sound and more importantly be felt like.
Symphony No. 11 (Powers of 11), written in 1989 is inspired by a fantasized romance and the thematic material is based on the intervals corresponding to the exponents of 11. It is only in the 1st and 3rd movements the business with the Powers of 11, although absent in the 2nd and 4th movements. This powerful piece, beaming with Romanticism and Avant-garde, is not one to be taken lightly. Intense string and horn sections bellow out the central melodic ideas with exquisite accompaniment from the woodwinds. Even the percussion section applies key roles in each movement to increase each accent with more and more nail-biting tension.