Skip directly to content

Violin Concerto / Shaker Loops

  • 79360

News & Reviews

  • "It would be difficult to make an account of all the ways John Adams’s music has influenced me and my work," Nico Muhly writes in his note in the upcoming 40-disc box set John Adams Collected Works, "but in the spirit of writing something personal, I’d like to offer a few perhaps impersonal observations about his work in a more circular, even crabwise, fashion. There are specific places in John’s music where there is a rhyme hidden across decades, relating to an elusive sense of 'meaning' in his music which radiates across his body of work." You can read his complete note from the box set here.

  • Nonesuch Records releases the forty-disc John Adams Collected Works, a box set of recordings spanning more than four decades of the composer’s career with the label, on July 1, 2022. It includes two extensive booklets with new essays and notes by Timo Andres, Julia Bullock, Robert Hurwitz, Nico Muhly, and Jake Wilder-Smith. Nonesuch made its first record with John Adams in 1985; he was signed exclusively to the label that year, and since then the company has released forty-two first recordings and thirty-one all-Adams albums. “John Adams coming to the label was one of the central events in our company’s history,” says Robert Hurwitz, Nonesuch’s longtime President and current Chairman Emeritus. “The recordings were done in real time, mostly within a few months of a piece’s first performance. Every recording was either conducted by John, or made under close supervision of the composer, who was in the control booth for every album—when he wasn’t on the podium.” Collected Works includes thirty-five discs of Nonesuch recordings and five from other labels.

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

More From

nonesuch's picture
on May 29, 2008 - 7:14pm
genre: 
Release Date: 
Friday, April 5, 1996 - 05:00
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

Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

79360

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
ns_album_artistid: 
2
ns_album_id: 
6
ns_album_releasedate: 
Monday, April 1, 1996 - 05:00
ns_genre_1: 
0
ns_genre_2: 
0
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597936025BUN
Price: 
0.00
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
603497079667
Price: 
9.00
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

[{"parent":{"title":"Get on the list !","body":" Get exclusive information about NONESUCH tour dates, video premieres and special announcements ","field_newsletter_id":"14075483","field_label_list_id":"6389157","field_display_rates":"-1","field_preview_mode":"false","field_lbox_height":"","field_lbox_width":"","field_toaster_timeout":"16000","field_toaster_position":"From Bottom","field_turnkey_height":"800"}}]

Performs On