All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

331

Rowan University Percussion Ensemble: Nosferatu

Frank Rubolino By

Sign in to view read count
Using the 1922 silent movie Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror for inspiration, pianist Mick Rossi composed an original film score for the historic work. The film was one of the earliest depictions of the vampire phenomenon made universally famous through novelist Bram Stoker’s Dracula in 1897 and crystallized by the acting of Bela Lugosi in subsequent Dracula films starting in the 1930s and continuing into the present era. F. W. Murnau directed this version, which was shown on Halloween 2000 at Rowan University, and Rossi’s score was performed live as musical commentary to the speechless action on the screen.

The music is commanding and powerful. Rossi and clarinetist Andy Laster are the prime soloists. The Rowan University Percussion Ensemble, consisting of ten percussionists and eight bassists, lavishly embellish the dark and light passages with all manner of interpretive speech. Rowan University Music Department Chairman Dean Witten conducted the massive undertaking.

The intrigue of this performance is pervasive, but its imagery is startlingly realistic and communicative. Rossi scurries over the keys depicting lighter film moments and then seeps deeply into the darkness with ponderous thunder as the action becomes morose. Laster intertwines clarinet passages that spring freely from his instrument to cloak the mood swings. The clarinet has the capacity to evoke numerous feelings, and Laster sets the shifting scenes with his conceptual outpourings.

The percussionists play an extremely important role in this presentation. Lighthearted vibes and marimba tones transform into segments portraying sinisterness. Similarly, the bassists add their brand of aural description of the action, such as during stalking scenes and other stealthy, heart- stopping sections. All of these emotions are suggested by Rossi and the orchestra without one needing to be actually watching the movie.

As the film progresses deeper and deeper into its ghoulish plot, the music realistically relays the images to the mind. Rossi ponders over the keys and Laster portrays cautiousness that soon erupts into a state of frightening agitation when the inevitable consequences of the storyline unfold in full. The kettledrums explode, the bassists become frenzied, and Rossi and Laster continue to transport the visions in compelling musical terms. Rossi often steered the ensemble into sections of free improvisation to provide spontaneity to the action.

Although this gigantic effort was done in support of the silent film, it stands on its own as a significant artistic work. Rossi’s score and improvisations contain all the elements necessary to stimulate a demanding musical appetite, and the intricate blending of Laster’s clarinet with the percussionists’ and bassists’ nuances cum overt outbursts makes the recording an emotionally charged, cross-genre event.

Visit www.dreamboxmedia.com .


Track Listing: Original Score in Five Movements (65:29).

Personnel: Mick Rossi-piano; Andy Laster-clarinet; Mark Barber, Laura Bryan, Barry Capelli, Jr., Joseph Donnelly, Andrea Lustig, Christopher Pastin, Suzanne Smalley, Daryl Updike, Matthew Witten, Edward Zaryky-percussion; Douglas Mapp, Paul Klinefelter, James Barber, Joseph Jacobs, David Mensch, Nicholas Recuber, Robert Smith, Matthew Turowski-basses. Recorded: October 29, 2000, Glassboro, NJ.

Title: Nosferatu | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Dreambox Media

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Collaboration

Collaboration

Dreambox Media
2004

buy
Nosferatu

Nosferatu

Dreambox Media
2003

buy

Related Articles

Read Lebroba CD/LP/Track Review
Lebroba
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2018
Read The Lullaby Project CD/LP/Track Review
The Lullaby Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 22, 2018
Read Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 22, 2018
Read Intimate Adversary CD/LP/Track Review
Intimate Adversary
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 22, 2018
Read Songs from the Alan Lomax Collection CD/LP/Track Review
Songs from the Alan Lomax Collection
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 22, 2018
Read Pendulum CD/LP/Track Review
Pendulum
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 21, 2018
Read "Awase" CD/LP/Track Review Awase
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: May 7, 2018
Read "Dreamstruck" CD/LP/Track Review Dreamstruck
by Don Phipps
Published: November 20, 2018
Read "Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller" CD/LP/Track Review Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read "Plus One" CD/LP/Track Review Plus One
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 24, 2018
Read "Elker" CD/LP/Track Review Elker
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 13, 2018
Read "Ara" CD/LP/Track Review Ara
by Don Phipps
Published: January 4, 2018