News & Reviews
- Monday, September 23, 2013
John Adams's Saxophone Concerto Given US Premiere by Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: "Ecstatic Ride" (Baltimore Sun)
John Adams’s Saxophone Concerto received its US premiere over the weekend, with Marin Alsop conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and saxophonist Timothy McAllister, for whom the "virtuosic piece" (Washington Post) was written. The Baltimore Sun says "the score deftly fuses classical and jazz elements to create a cohesive, arresting experience ... Adams, whose style has evolved over the decades from pristine minimalism to a kind of post-Mahler richness of thematic ideas and orchestral textures, has created here a kinetic, ecstatic ride that achieves giddy heights along the way." McAllister performs the Saxophone Concerto with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on October 5 and 6.
- Wednesday, August 21, 2013
John Adams makes his first-ever Australian concert appearances with programs titled Adams Conducts Adams in Sydney and Melbourne. Marking his Sydney Opera House debut as conductor, Adams leads the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and saxophonist Timothy McAllister in the world premiere of his Saxophone Concerto on Thursday and Friday. Also on the program are Adams’s Violin Concerto performed by Leila Josefowicz and works by Beethoven and Respighi. Adams heads next to Melbourne to conduct the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in an all-Adams program at Hamer Hall August 29 and 31 featuring the Australian premiere of City Noir and performances of his Violin Concerto and Short Ride in a Fast Machine.
About this Album
John Adams’s Naive and Sentimental Music, an orchestral work of nearly 50 minutes, is his most ambitious symphonic work to date. Premiered and recorded by the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen, to whom the piece is dedicated, the work has subsequently been performed to great critical acclaim in New York, Chicago, Boston, and Cleveland, and throughout Europe.
Taking its title from the German poet Friedrich Schiller, Adams's Naive and Sentimental Music has been called “ultimately personal, intimate … an epic in which individual stories peek through the onrush of history” (Los Angeles Times) and “a maximal tour de force that proves how far [Adams] has moved from his minimalist roots” (Chicago Tribune). The San Francisco Chronicle includes it among the best orchestral compositions of the past 50 years, calling it a "bracing and beautiful essay, part philosophical treatise and part Dickensian adventure." The piece also takes its lead from the Schiller work, which examines the relationship between two different artistic personalities, one that creates in an un-self-conscious way, and one that tends to analyze itself as it creates. Adams has articulated his attempt to let the former aspect of his own nature “play freely” in this new work.
Following on the heels of a three-day, eight-concert retrospective of Adams’s music at the BBC Festival in London earlier in 2002, which showcased nearly all of his most significant works, Naive and Sentimental Music came at a time of an unprecedented degree of recognition for the composer both in the US and Europe.
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
Produced by Martin Sauer
Recorded October 25-26, 1999 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA
Engineered by Richard King
Assistant Engineers: Mark Betts and Todd Whitelock
Edited, mixed and mastered at Sony Music Studios, New York, NY
Edited by Todd Whitelock
Mixed by Martin Sauer and Richard King
Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic appear courtesy of Sony Classical.
Naive and Sentimental Music was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Ensemble Modern Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony and the Sydney Symphony.
Design by Evan Gaffney Design
Cover photograph: Untitled (Overhanging Rock, Glacier Point, Yosemite), c. 1883 by Gustavus Fagersteen, courtesy of Oakland Museum of California, Gift of the Women’s Board
Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz