What first strikes you with Harold and NYVS is their ability to take the most difficult and challenging music and bring it up to performance-level quality at lightning speed. The fact that this initial stage goes so quickly means that there is more than ample time for them to dig deeply into all the different elements of the piece—the subtle and often tiny details that a listener might not be consciously aware of but that take a work to its highest level. Most importantly, there is Harold's ability to find the core and the soul of a work. His laser-like focus on the text, considering it from both the artistic-poetic as well as the historical standpoint, along with his profound musicality, mean he is able to reveal a composition's essence and bring it beautifully to life. And having such remarkable musicians who contribute their own ideas and creative energy to every piece is invaluable.
When we recently completed the video recordings of my works after two long, intense days of work, I looked at Harold and was astonished. He seemed completely fresh and revitalized. It was clear he could have started over again right then and there, and I had the feeling the singers could have done the same. That is what it means to truly love what you do. Yes, it is hard, concentrated work, but it is never depleting, only rejuvenating. I wish every composer could have the chance to work with Harold and the New York Virtuoso Singers. If you ever get that opportunity, I urge you to take it! William McClelland
“The music-making of Harold Rosenbaum and his New York Virtuoso Singers is insightful, inspiring, and centered. The expertise and effort they bring to recording and performing music of all kinds is uplifting. I feel honored by their recording of my composition Spells, for SATB chorus.”
Augusta Read Thomas
"Recording with Harold Rosenbaum and the New York Virtuoso Singers was a dream come true. The benefits are myriad and accrue, most especially, from the relationship the conductor has with his group. The resulting speed of the process in no way sacrifices subtlety and depth of interpretation. The recording conditions are top-notch and all involved are real pros. Harold is also a genuine champion of new choral music. This is something that cannot be overstated."
Approximately 10 years ago, I met Harold Rosenbaum when he and his New York Virtuoso Singers were engaged to record a program of choral music by composer Nancy Wertsch. As the head of the releasing label, MSR Classics, I had the privilege of attending the sessions that were conducted by producer/engineer Richard Price of Candlewood Digital. Immediately upon meeting Harold at the time, I sensed intelligence, professionalism and a great passion for the process in which he and his singers were engaged, that of giving life to notes on a page. At the sessions, he was focused, yet entirely constructive and accommodating. It was obvious the relationship between Harold and his singers was one of great mutual respect and trust. Most importantly, the performances of Wertsch’s fine music that came forth under the microphones were clean, stylistic and communicative. Without question, the NYVS and Harold can be counted on to provide the musical, intellectual (and practical) abilities required by the commercial recording process. Regarding the label process, which involves design, annotation, release and promotion, Harold again was professional and well-informed, therefore being a fine collaborator. The resulting Compact Disc release that came about as a result of all these factors was well-received. From start to finish, success was assured.
In the fall of 2011 it was my pleasure to produce and engineer a commercial CD recording of the choral music of Nancy Wertsch, for MSR Classics, with Harold Rosenbaum and the New York Virtuoso Singers. The entire three days of recording went smoothly and happily, thanks to the excellent quality of the NYVS singers, Harold’s extremely thorough preparation, and his technical and musical excellence under recording pressure. The result was splendid. There were no weak links. I should emphasize that not every fine conductor is a fine recording conductor—the time pressure, the need for quick and unambiguous yet courteous and respectful communication, the coordination with the technical team, and the experience to fix what needs fixing on the spot and move on rapidly are challenging. Harold was superb in this capacity and his singers were as well.
I had also encountered them a few years earlier while recording live concerts at the Bard Festival, and came away with an equally positive impression. First rate singing and conducting and first rate result.
President and Producer/engineer Candlewood Digital LLC
Listening to the performance in New York City of my a cappella
setting of In Paradises by The New York Virtuoso Singers under the direction
of Harold Rosenbaum merely confirmed the conclusion I had already made
that he must be regarded as the most outstanding choral director now active in
the USA, a reputation that he could have earned only because of his
understanding of the choral repertory that had begun to exist in the West from
1300 until now when its size is still being increased by the contributions of
composers such as myself. My opinion of Harold Rosenbaum’s skills and
reputation was further supported when as a pianist I agreed to join with pianist
Genevieve Chinn to record my The Lament of Rachel with him. During the
rehearsal that preceded the recording session it became clear to me that I did
not need to make either corrections or suggestions because he already
understood how the music that I had composed ought to sound to anyone
listening to it.