John Adams: Grand Pianola Music; Shaker Loops; Short Ride in a Fast Machine

John Adams: Grand Pianola Music; Shaker Loops; Short Ride in a Fast Machine

by Christopher Warren-Green
     
 

For this collection of some of John Adams' best-known shorter orchestral works from the 1980s, EMI has gathered performances from its earlier releases by three different ensembles. Ransom Wilson's 1984 account of "Grand Pianola Music" with Solisti New York is a pastel reading of one of the composer'sSee more details below

Overview

For this collection of some of John Adams' best-known shorter orchestral works from the 1980s, EMI has gathered performances from its earlier releases by three different ensembles. Ransom Wilson's 1984 account of "Grand Pianola Music" with Solisti New York is a pastel reading of one of the composer's brashest, most primary-color pieces. The approach allows the niceties of Adams' orchestration to be heard, but at the cost of rhythmic and dynamic vitality and overall excitement; the composer's version on Nonesuch with the London Sinfonietta does a better job of capturing the work's energy. Christopher Warren-Green leads the London Chamber Orchestra in a bristling performance of "Shaker Loops," which approaches the wildness that's possible (and that Adams likes) when it's preformed in its original version for seven strings. Particularly in the first movement, "Shaking and Trembling," the performance sometimes seems thrillingly on the verge of veering into chaos, but Warren-Green safely brings it home. Simon Rattle conducts the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in two of Adams' most popular short pieces, "The Chairman Dances" and "Short Ride in a Fast Machine." Rattle is strong in the faster parts, but he doesn't capture the smoothness of the slide into the "Chairman Dances"' languorous slow section with the style of someone who's entirely at ease in the jazz world. The collection may not be the most energetic or idiomatic introduction to Adams' work, but these are useful alternative readings to the canonical versions by the composer and Edo de Waart on Nonesuch. EMI's sound is exemplary, clean, and spacious, with terrific stereo separation.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/24/2008
Label:
Warner Classics
UPC:
5099920662721
catalogNumber:
6627
Rank:
21715

Tracks

  1. Grand Pianola Music, for 3 sopranos, 2 pianos, winds, brass & percussion  - John Adams  - Solisti New York  - Ransom Wilson
  2. Shaker Loops, for 7 strings or string orchestra  - John Adams  - Simon Foster  - Christopher Warren-Green  -  London Chamber Orchestra
  3. The Chairman Dances, foxtrot for orchestra  - John Adams  -  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  - Simon Rattle
  4. Short Ride in a Fast Machine, fanfare for orchestra  - John Adams  -  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  - Simon Rattle

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