Hallelujah Junction: A Nonesuch Retrospective

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
John Adams: Hallelujah Junction serves as a best-of collection that chronicles the composer's career and points up the breadth and depth of Adams' contribution to American musical life in the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries. It was released to coincide with the publication of Adams' memoir, Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life. This kind of broad retrospective always raises the question about whether omissions leave gaping holes in its summation of a composer's work, and it must be said that this collection gets it right; the important works are covered, and when only a section or movement of a larger piece is chosen, it's the right one, most ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
John Adams: Hallelujah Junction serves as a best-of collection that chronicles the composer's career and points up the breadth and depth of Adams' contribution to American musical life in the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries. It was released to coincide with the publication of Adams' memoir, Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life. This kind of broad retrospective always raises the question about whether omissions leave gaping holes in its summation of a composer's work, and it must be said that this collection gets it right; the important works are covered, and when only a section or movement of a larger piece is chosen, it's the right one, most likely because the composer was involved in the selection process. Two of Adams' most widely performed and recorded pieces, "Short Ride in a Fast Machine" and "The Chairman Dances," are not included, but in the grand scheme of things they are less significant than the works that are included. All of these performances come from the Nonesuch catalog. It doesn't hurt that Adams has an exclusive contract with Nonesuch to release the first recording of each work, and most of the performances here have the authority of being recorded with the composer's input. The collection covers works beginning with "Shaker Loops" from 1978 in its orchestral version to "A Flowering Tree," Adams' 2006 opera. Other highlights include the first movement of "Harmonielehre," the third movement of "Harmonium," the sublime third scene of the first act of "Nixon in China" which Adams describes as one of the favorite things he has written, "Mongrel Airs" from the "Chamber Symphony," the two opening choruses from "The Death of Klinghoffer," two excerpts from "El Niño," and "A New Day" from "The Dharma at Big Sur." The performances are uniformly superlative. The sound, too, is consistently good, except for "Harmonium," which, uncharacteristically for ECM, has balance problems. The recordings were made in various circumstances, which may require some adjustment of volume between tracks. For the newcomer to Adams, there's no better introduction to his work, and even fans who already own recordings of many of these pieces may find this survey an exhilarating reminder of the scope of the composer's imagination.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/7/2008
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • UPC: 075597989212
  • Catalog Number: 512396

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Harmonielehre, for orchestra: Part I - John Adams & Edo de Waart (17:10)
  2. 2 Shaker Loops, for 7 strings or string orchestra: Part I. Shaking and Trembling - John Adams & John Adams (8:30)
  3. 3 Harmonium, for chorus & orchestra: Part III. Wild Nights - John Adams & John Adams (11:40)
  4. 4 Nixon in China, opera: Act 1. Scene 3. Ladies and Gentlemen - John Adams & Edo de Waart (6:36)
  5. 5 Nixon in China, opera: Act 1. Scene 3. Mr. Premier, distinguished guests - John Adams & Edo de Waart (2:36)
  6. 6 Nixon in China, opera: Act 1. Scene 3. Cheers - John Adams & Edo de Waart (3:49)
  7. 7 Chamber Symphony: 1st Movement. Mongrel Airs - John Adams & John Adams (7:53)
  8. 8 Gnarly Buttons, for clarinet & ensemble: 3rd Movement. Put Your Loving Arms Around Me - John Adams & John Adams (8:34)
  9. 9 Hoodoo Zephyr, for electronics - John Adams & John Adams (10:20)
Disc 2
  1. 1 The Death of Klinghoffer, opera: Chorus of Exiled Palestinians - John Adams & Richard Cooke (8:38)
  2. 2 The Death of Klinghoffer, opera: Chorus of Exiled Jews - John Adams & Richard Cooke (8:38)
  3. 3 I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, songplay: !Este Pais! (This Country!) - John Adams & John Adams (4:30)
  4. 4 Violin Concerto: 3rd Movement. Toccare - John Adams & Robert Hurwitz (7:45)
  5. 5 Naive and Sentimental Music, for orchestra: Part 3. Chain to the Rhythm - John Adams & Esa-Pekka Salonen (10:59)
  6. 6 El Niño, a Nativity Oratorio: The Babe Leaped in Her Womb - John Adams & Terry Edwards (3:30)
  7. 7 El Niño, a Nativity Oratorio: Magnificat - John Adams & Terry Edwards (3:30)
  8. 8 A Flowering Tree, opera: Act II. Scene 4. Kumudha and the Beggar Minstrels - John Adams & John Adams (7:11)
  9. 9 The Dharma at Big Sur, concerto for electric violin & orchestra: Part I. A New Day - John Adams & John Adams (14:33)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Adams Primary Artist
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