This beautiful, captivating work contains eleven songs that are settings of excerpts from actual love letters that span a period of two thousand years from Pliny the Younger in the first century to John Steinbeck in the twentieth century. . . Vogel’s compositional style is tonal, lyric, expressive, fluid, and always insightful to the text being set. He has a superb ability to write characteristically for each instrument so that the listener’s attention is never drawn to compositional craft, rather to its easy adaptation to the text . . . Enjoy this fabulous piece!
Sharon Mabry, Journal of Singing, March/April 2009
Things Fall Apart
From the very first notes of Things Fall Apart, I knew that this would be a fascinating and captivating work. Its neo-primitivistic opening, relentless in its driving drumming, and overlaid with exotic melodic patterns in the flute, immediately creates a sense of anticipation in the auditor as to what will come next. But the work has its gentle moments, too, for example in the second movement that begins with spoken text, but soon yields to gentle sung phrases. Although this is a rather thoroughly tonal work, the composer proves that tonal musical language still has something to offer without a “reinvention of the wheel” taking place. There are 27 distinct sections which more-or-less alternate between sung and spoken vocal lines, and the work ends quietly and sadly with a description of the removal of the hapless man’s body from the tree from which he had hanged himself. The raw power of certain sections of this work is perfectly counterbalanced with the gentler, more lyrical portions, the result being a work of convincing structural unity. Things Fall Apart demands repeated hearings, and will offer rewards for many such.
David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare, September/October, 2013
This trio deftly sets a prevailing mood as they support and underscore the moods of the drama: lyrical, foreboding, and insistently moving toward the final tragedy.
Phil Muse, Atlanta Audio Video Reviews, November, 2013
"The Owl" from Cats and Bats and Things with Wings
Conrad Aiken's 1965 collection, Cats and Bats and Things with Wings, is the source of this charming excerpt--an onomatopoeic secular poem set with care and verve by Roger Vogel as part of the new series from the Roger Wagner Center for Choral Studies in Los Angeles. The piece not only gives life to the poem, but it does so without clichè and with much energy.
Eine Kleine Snailmusik and The Frog, He Fly . . . Almost
Roger Vogel's compositions scored for trumpet and soprano demand a high degree of agility from both participants, a challenge that is able met by Sandor and Ellen Ritchey. The Frog, He Fly. . . Almost and Eine Kleine Snailmusik carry some of the flavor of Anthony Plog's Animal Ditties and fall into the category of "good clean musical fun."
"Cute" titles often fill me with dread; but Roger Vogel's The Frog, He Fly . . . Almost and Eine Kleine Snailmusik banished my fears of abject cuteness immediately. The Frog, He Fly . . .Almost is for trumpet and soprano alone, starting with a difficult trumpet passage which sets the tone for the work. This is an angular work requiring a great deal of agility from Sandor and Ellen Ritchey. Additional color is provided by some highly acrobatic mute changes. Eine Kleine Snailmusik also belies its "cute" title by being a nine-minute tour-de-force for trumpet, soprano, cello and piano. Sandor and Ritchey are joined by cellist David Starkweather and the composer, pianist Roger Vogel. Vogel's writing provides challenging but idiomatic writing for all, and the group more than accepts the challenge.
Lee J. Weimer, NACWPI JOURNAL, Winter, 2001-2002
Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano
The piece, while not tonal in the traditional sense through functional harmonic motion, certainly gives the impression of fairly clear tonal centers and is rather accessible for the listener. The most compelling aspect of the work, however, is the rhythmic drive which is achieved through changing meters and shifting accents employed throughout all of the faster passages. . . This is a solid addition to the saxophone repertoire and is recommended highly.
Temporal Landscape No. 1
There are multiphonics, large and dissonant intervals, tapping the instrument with the fingers, valve clicks, and muted passages. While all this may seem like a demonstration piece, it is written in such a way that these items are just simply natural parts of the music, which is something that is extremely difficult to do. The work is one movement and not too long. I recommend this work to all.
Temporal Landscape No. 4
The difficulties in the piece result from wide, dissonant leaps, accurate ensemble, and making music from the printed notes. I recommend this work highly as an example of solid, well-created contemporary writing for both tuba and piano.
Fantasy for Solo Violin
From harsh double stops to extreme high harmonics and lush themes that ran throughout the work, Ross guided the audience through a journey of violinistic fantasy.
"Of Celebration" from The Devil's Songbook
Il tutto condito con una coinvolgente simpatia del cantante che con il bis "Of celebration" di Vogel ("Drink, dance, lie and laugh" ossia bere, ballare, nentire e ridere. . .) ha concluso piacevolmente la serata.
Temporal Landscape Number 6
American Record Guide, July/August, 1998.