Gerhard Rosenfeld’s Balkan Suite

August 7 2010

Around this time last year, the Canberra Mandolin Orchestra – an amazing community orchestra which I’ve had the privilege of directing over the last few years, started working on a piece by the little known German composer Gerhard Rosenfeld called Balkan Suite. It has a kind of earthy impact in the same way that the folk-influenced works of Bartók and Kodály have, and is very well written for mandolin orchestra. The CMO have started work recording their first CD over the past few weeks, and you can hear a sample of the work by clicking

      here
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Rosenfeld, who passed away in 2003 was best known for his opera works (you can find an obituary here), but other than that there seems to be very little information about him.  However, all roads lead to Canberra, and late last year I was very interested to learn that local harpist Alice Giles met him when recording his beautiful Requiem fur Kaza Katharinna for chamber ensemble, mezzo-soprano, and folk instruments.  It stands as one of the only recordings of his work, so hopefully the humble CMO can add to that in the near future – everything I’ve heard so far of his is interesting, and wish there was more out there…

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