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  • Tuesday, April 7, 2009
    Mercury News: Adams's String Quartet "A Stunner," "One of His Most Brilliant and Inventive Masterworks"
    Margaretta Mitchell

    John Adams's 2008 String Quartet, only the composer's second piece for the medium after John's Book of Alleged Dances, his 1994 piece for Kronos Quartet, "is a stunner," says the San Jose Mercury News, following the work's West Coast premiere in a program introduced by the composer and performed by the St. Lawrence String Quartet at Stanford's Dinkelspiel Auditorium this past Sunday. The St. Lawrence had premiered the piece this past January at the Juilliard School in New York. Reviewing Sunday's concert for the Mercury News, Georgia Rowe writes, "the piece emerged as one of his most brilliant and inventive masterworks."

    And, Rowe continues, "That's saying a lot, considering that Adams has spent the past few decades writing and premiering a long list of major works ..." In this context of the Adams oeuvre, his String Quartet, "boasts all the attributes audiences have come to associate with Adams' best music."

    In Sunday's concert, says the reviewer, it was clear the St. Lawrence was "fully invested in Adams' score" and performed the piece "with a sense of mastery and conviction."

    As the arc of the two-section piece is revealed, "the music's controlled restlessness yields to tremendous fervency," from the "ghostly" elements of the first part to the second, with its "ascending lines [that] rise and shimmer like heat off a highway." The String Quartet, Rowe concludes, "is Adams at his most gripping, and the St. Lawrence players gave the work a fierce, go-for-broke reading."

    Read the full review at mercurynews.com.

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Mercury News: Adams's String Quartet "A Stunner," "One of His Most Brilliant and Inventive Masterworks"

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nonesuch's picture
on April 7, 2009 - 1:55pm
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009 - 14:00
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John Adams's 2008 String Quartet, only his second piece for the medium after 1994's John's Book of Alleged Dances, "is a stunner," says the San Jose Mercury News, following the West Coast premiere by the St. Lawrence String Quartet at Stanford last Sunday. "[T]he piece emerged as one of his most brilliant and inventive masterworks," asserts the Mercury News, and "boasts all the attributes audiences have come to associate with Adams' best music ... [T]his is Adams at his most gripping."

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John Adams's 2008 String Quartet, only the composer's second piece for the medium after John's Book of Alleged Dances, his 1994 piece for Kronos Quartet, "is a stunner," says the San Jose Mercury News, following the work's West Coast premiere in a program introduced by the composer and performed by the St. Lawrence String Quartet at Stanford's Dinkelspiel Auditorium this past Sunday. The St. Lawrence had premiered the piece this past January at the Juilliard School in New York. Reviewing Sunday's concert for the Mercury News, Georgia Rowe writes, "the piece emerged as one of his most brilliant and inventive masterworks."

And, Rowe continues, "That's saying a lot, considering that Adams has spent the past few decades writing and premiering a long list of major works ..." In this context of the Adams oeuvre, his String Quartet, "boasts all the attributes audiences have come to associate with Adams' best music."

In Sunday's concert, says the reviewer, it was clear the St. Lawrence was "fully invested in Adams' score" and performed the piece "with a sense of mastery and conviction."

As the arc of the two-section piece is revealed, "the music's controlled restlessness yields to tremendous fervency," from the "ghostly" elements of the first part to the second, with its "ascending lines [that] rise and shimmer like heat off a highway." The String Quartet, Rowe concludes, "is Adams at his most gripping, and the St. Lawrence players gave the work a fierce, go-for-broke reading."

Read the full review at mercurynews.com.

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