×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Adams: Harmonielehre, The Chairman Dances, Two Fanfares
     

Adams: Harmonielehre, The Chairman Dances, Two Fanfares

by Simon Rattle
 
John Adams' Harmonielehre is the first "minimalist" symphony. Adams' earliest works followed the "pure" minimalism of Philip Glass and Steve Reich, but he soon found the strictures of this style limiting. So with each new composition, he pushed the boundaries a bit farther, either by adapting

Overview

John Adams' Harmonielehre is the first "minimalist" symphony. Adams' earliest works followed the "pure" minimalism of Philip Glass and Steve Reich, but he soon found the strictures of this style limiting. So with each new composition, he pushed the boundaries a bit farther, either by adapting established forms or by creating his own. For "Harmonielehre," he took the basic structure of a symphony, dispensed with the traditional thematic development, and produced a piece as tight, dramatic, and powerful as any symphony in the repertory. The Chairman Dances -- an offshoot of Adams' opera Nixon in China -- is a slinky, slithering foxtrot with a shimmering orchestration that evokes winking Chinese lanterns. As for Short Ride in a Fast Machine, the composer has said: "You know how it is when someone asks you to ride in a terrific sports car, and then you wish you hadn't?" -- which should give you a good idea of the music's exhilarating zip. Simon Rattle puts the pedal to the metal with the Birmingham orchestra, steering through this music with the skill and verve of a Formula One racer.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Adams' Harmonielehre -- or "Harmony Teachings" -- derives its title from Arnold Schoenberg's 1911 book of the same title. Far in technique from Schoenberg's 12-tone style, yet separating from the minimalist school of composition, "Harmonielehre" in its three movements shows Adams returning to some of his finer works of the past and bursting forth with bright, energetic trumpet E minor chords in inconsistent rhythms. A darker second movement follows ("The Anfortas Wound"), followed by a bright and shimmering third movement, "Meister Eckhart and Quackie." Other pieces on this recording include "The Chairman Dances," featuring lines and phrases from Adams' opera Nixon in China -- an orchestral foxtrot between the Chairman and Mrs. Mao Tse Tung. Romantic and danceable, utilizing Chinese pentatonics. Two fanfares close the disc, most notably Adams' most famous composition, "Slow Ride on a Fast Machine." These works, particularly "Harmonielehre," show Adams severing ties with the minimalist camp, being more dynamic and emotional than many of the more static works of the minimalist canon -- hearkening back to many of the impressionist composers of the late 19th century (such as Debussy). ~ Mark W. B. Allender

Product Details

Release Date:
04/12/1994
Label:
Warner Classics
UPC:
0724355505125
catalogNumber:
55051
Rank:
55923

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Simon Rattle   Primary Artist,Conductor

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews