NY Times: John Adams "An Inspired Advocate" for Louis Andriessen in Carnegie Hall Performance of "De Staat"
John Adams led a rare performance of Louis Andriessen's De Staat in Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall on Monday. The New York Times says "it was a thrill to hear the adventurous players of Ensemble ACJW perform" the piece, calling Adams "an inspired advocate" for Andriessen. The Philadelphia Inquirer writes, after the previous day's performance in Philadelphia, that what is "so astonishing" about De Staat after almost 35 years, "is that it seems ... so completely up to date."
West Coast-based composer John Adams continues his East Coast concert schedule tomorrow with the first of his performances with the National Symphony Orchestra for The Kennedy Center's John Adams: Perspectives. On Monday, Adams led Ensemble ACJW in a program featuring his Son of Chamber Symphony, Stravinsky's Concert for Piano and Winds, and Louis Andriessen's De Staat, in Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall in New York. It was the final event curated by Andriessen as holder of Carnegie's Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair for 2009–2010.
New York Times classical music critic Anthony Tommasini says "it was a thrill to hear the adventurous players of Ensemble ACJW perform De Staat," a piece Andriessen wrote in 1976 but which is rarely performed in concert.
"As the piece evolves, there are brassy blasts, pummeling pianos, every-which-way counterpoint, entangled bits of text among the four hard-working singers, overall craziness and, at times, a relentless din," Tommasini writes. "The musicians seemed swept away yet fully in control throughout the mesmerizing performance."
In the review, Tommasini calls Adams "an inspired advocate" for Andriessen and concludes of Ensemble ACJW's final concert of the season: "What a way to end it."
Read the full concert review at nytimes.com.
One day before the Zankel concert, Adams and Ensemble ACJW performed the program at the Perelman Theater in Philadelphia, a presentation of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. The Philadelphia Inquirer says that what is "so astonishing" about De Staat after all this time "is that it seems ... so completely up to date."
Inquirer classical music critic Peter Dobrin writes: "The influences are Reich, Stravinsky, Indian raga, and of course, Plato, whose text is incanted by four female vocalists. Patterns restate and evolve—and rather than becoming rote, the slow sense of shifting becomes the source of a pleasurable, consuming hypnotism."
Read the review at philly.com.
The 1991 Nonesuch Records release of De Staat, performed by the Schoenberg Ensemble and conductor Reinbert de Leeuw, marked the start of Andriessen's recording relationship with the label, which has led to five additional albums since. De Staat is available as a high-quality digital album in the Nonesuch Store.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016Wednesday, December 21, 2016
As 2016 draws to a close, and the Nonesuch Journal takes a bit of a hiatus till the start of 2017, it's time to take a look back and remember all of the great and diverse music made by Nonesuch artists over the past year. Many Nonesuch artists and their recent Nonesuch releases have made music critics' and fans' year-end best lists. Here, in words and music and in chronological order, is a look back at the year in Nonesuch music.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016Wednesday, June 29, 2016Listen: Allen Toussaint's "American Tunes" Reviewed on NPR's "Fresh Air"; His "Touch and Timing Shine"
Allen Toussaint's final recording, American Tunes, released to critical acclaim earlier this month, continues to earn rave reviews. Paste calls it "a beautiful colleciton of tracks that showcase his love of music no matter the genre." NPR's Fresh Air says it's "a fond last look at a composer and pianist who helped refine classic New Orleans pop and rhythm & blues and then brought them into the modern world. We miss him already." You can hear the complete review here.