Violin Concerto / Shaker Loops

Submitted by nonesuch on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 19:14
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Release Date
DescriptionExcerpt

Gidon Kremer gives a “driven, high-energy performance” of John Adams’s Violin Concerto “that brings out both the work's dark beauty and its acerbic edge” (New York Times). “Shaker Loops,” says the Times, “has a searing, ominous quality that previous recordings have not captured.”

Description

John Adams, America’s most frequently programmed composer, released the premiere recording of his acclaimed Violin Concerto in April 1996, featuring violinist Gidon Kremer and the London Symphony Orchestra led by Kent Nagano. The Violin Concerto, which was written in 1993 and received the Grawemeyer Award in 1995, is paired on this album with Shaker Loops, Adams’s popular string orchestra work in its first available recording conducted by the composer, with a performance by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

The Violin Concerto, deemed “electrifying music” by the Village Voice, signifies Adams’s return to a large-scale sweeping lyricism, presenting Kremer in a virtuosic trek through a landscape of changing atmospheres. Alternating furious passagework, a dreamlike second movement of variations, and a finale of kinetic wonder that volleys between soloist and tutti, the work is poised to captivate Adams fans and new Listeners alike.

A co-commission between the Minnesota Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the New York City Ballet, the piece was premiered in January 1994 by soloist Jorla Fleezanis and the Minnesota Orchestra under the baton of Edo de Waart. Reviewing a performance last summer at Tanglewood’s Contemporary Music Festival with violinist Laura Parks and conductor Stefan Asbury, the Boston Globe described the Violin Concerto as having “the qualities of intelligence, craftsmanship and quirkiness that have always marked the composer and his work; this time Adams also mingles virtuoso show with soul, popular appeal with the staying power that comes from intellectual interest.”

Begun in 1977 as a piece for string quartet, Shaker Loops evolved as Adams experimented with different minimalistic techniques. It was quickly modified for septet, then revised for orchestra in 1983, and it continues to be one of his most performed pieces. Shaker Loops was first performed in the septet version in 1978 by members of the New Music Ensemble at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The version for string orchestra was first. heard in 1983 in a performance by the American Composers Orchestra conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas at New York City s Alice Tully Hall.

Adams says of the two pieces, “Beyond their stylistic earmarks, what links these two pieces most in my mind is their shared sense of untrussed virtuosity and physical energy They are both pieces about the act of playing a string instrument and specifically about a non-string player’s fascination with that art.”

 

ProductionCredits

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Violin Concerto
Produced by Martin Sauer
Recorded June 1994 at Abbey Road Studios, London
Engineered by Ulrich Ruscher
Mixed by Martin Sauer and John Adams and Radio France, Paris

Shaker Loops
Produced by Philip Waldway
Recorded November 1988 at Manhattan Center Studios, New York
Engineered by Paul Zinman
Assistant Engineer: Nelson Wong

Mastered by Paul Zinman at SoundByte Productions Inc., New York

Design by Barbara deWilde
Cover Photo by Tiziana De Silvestro

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

Nonesuch Selection Number

79360

Number of Discs in Set
1disc
ns_album_artistid
2
ns_album_id
6
ns_album_releasedate
ns_genre_1
0
ns_genre_2
0
Album Status
Artist Name
John Adams
MusicianDetails

MUSICIANS
Violin Concerto
Gidon Kremer, violin
London Symphony Orchestra
Kent Nagano, conductor

Shaker Loops
Orchestra of St. Luke's
John Adams, conductor

Cover Art
UPC/Price
Label
CD+MP3
Price
0.00
UPC
075597936025BUN
Label
MP3
Price
9.00
UPC
603497079667
  • 79360

News & Reviews

  • "John’s music is about promise and progress," Julia Bullock writes in her note in the new 40-disc box set John Adams Collected Works. "It comments on the inherent threat of exploiting power while embodying it. There’s fire and fragility, placed alongside organized form and frequency. I love John’s music. I love singing it, learning from it. And I love listening to it." You can read her complete note from the box set here.

  • "My friendship is with the private John," Nonesuch’s longtime President and current Chairman Emeritus Bob Hurwitz writes in the new 40-disc box set John Adams Collected Works, "but it is never far from my mind that I am with the man who wrote Doctor Atomic and Nixon in China, Harmonielehre and Naive and Sentimental Music, Scheherazade.2 and Shaker Loops." You can read his complete note from the box set here.

Buy Now

  • About This Album

    John Adams, America’s most frequently programmed composer, released the premiere recording of his acclaimed Violin Concerto in April 1996, featuring violinist Gidon Kremer and the London Symphony Orchestra led by Kent Nagano. The Violin Concerto, which was written in 1993 and received the Grawemeyer Award in 1995, is paired on this album with Shaker Loops, Adams’s popular string orchestra work in its first available recording conducted by the composer, with a performance by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

    The Violin Concerto, deemed “electrifying music” by the Village Voice, signifies Adams’s return to a large-scale sweeping lyricism, presenting Kremer in a virtuosic trek through a landscape of changing atmospheres. Alternating furious passagework, a dreamlike second movement of variations, and a finale of kinetic wonder that volleys between soloist and tutti, the work is poised to captivate Adams fans and new Listeners alike.

    A co-commission between the Minnesota Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the New York City Ballet, the piece was premiered in January 1994 by soloist Jorla Fleezanis and the Minnesota Orchestra under the baton of Edo de Waart. Reviewing a performance last summer at Tanglewood’s Contemporary Music Festival with violinist Laura Parks and conductor Stefan Asbury, the Boston Globe described the Violin Concerto as having “the qualities of intelligence, craftsmanship and quirkiness that have always marked the composer and his work; this time Adams also mingles virtuoso show with soul, popular appeal with the staying power that comes from intellectual interest.”

    Begun in 1977 as a piece for string quartet, Shaker Loops evolved as Adams experimented with different minimalistic techniques. It was quickly modified for septet, then revised for orchestra in 1983, and it continues to be one of his most performed pieces. Shaker Loops was first performed in the septet version in 1978 by members of the New Music Ensemble at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The version for string orchestra was first. heard in 1983 in a performance by the American Composers Orchestra conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas at New York City s Alice Tully Hall.

    Adams says of the two pieces, “Beyond their stylistic earmarks, what links these two pieces most in my mind is their shared sense of untrussed virtuosity and physical energy They are both pieces about the act of playing a string instrument and specifically about a non-string player’s fascination with that art.”

     

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Violin Concerto
    Gidon Kremer, violin
    London Symphony Orchestra
    Kent Nagano, conductor

    Shaker Loops
    Orchestra of St. Luke's
    John Adams, conductor

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Violin Concerto
    Produced by Martin Sauer
    Recorded June 1994 at Abbey Road Studios, London
    Engineered by Ulrich Ruscher
    Mixed by Martin Sauer and John Adams and Radio France, Paris

    Shaker Loops
    Produced by Philip Waldway
    Recorded November 1988 at Manhattan Center Studios, New York
    Engineered by Paul Zinman
    Assistant Engineer: Nelson Wong

    Mastered by Paul Zinman at SoundByte Productions Inc., New York

    Design by Barbara deWilde
    Cover Photo by Tiziana De Silvestro

    Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

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