Author Topic: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)  (Read 36148 times)

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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #200 on: March 11, 2020, 09:47:36 AM »
I thought you liked his Janáček recording?

I'm coming around on it. I picked it up used for cheap at a record store a few months back, didn't care for either of the works on first listen, but as of the past week or so I've been revisiting it and finding more to enjoy in it, the Sinfonietta in particular. I'll have to listen to the Glagolitic Mass again soon. But in any case I give Janáček more credit than MTT for this discovery.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #201 on: March 11, 2020, 09:49:08 AM »
I'm coming around on it. I picked it up used for cheap at a record store a few months back, didn't care for either of the works on first listen, but as of the past week or so I've been revisiting it and finding more to enjoy in it, the Sinfonietta in particular. I'll have to listen to the Glagolitic Mass again soon. But in any case I give Janáček more credit than MTT for this discovery.

But if the performances were mediocre, then who would you be blaming then --- the composer? He obviously had no involvement with it. ;) It sounds like to me you just can’t admit that you actually like one of MTT’s recordings. :) Oh and Janáček is a brilliant composer. One of my favorites.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2020, 09:50:54 AM by Mirror Image »
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #202 on: March 11, 2020, 09:58:11 AM »
But if the performances were mediocre, then who would you be blaming then --- the composer? He obviously had no involvement with it. ;) It sounds like to me you just can’t admit that you actually like one of MTT’s recordings. :) Oh and Janáček is a brilliant composer. One of my favorites.

Fine, fine, I admit it. It's a good recording. ;D Yes, I'm happy to be coming around on Janáček, I've enjoyed much of what I've heard of his work. And I guess I owe it to myself to give more of MTT's recordings a chance.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #203 on: March 11, 2020, 10:01:28 AM »
Fine, fine, I admit it. It's a good recording. ;D Yes, I'm happy to be coming around on Janáček, I've enjoyed much of what I've heard of his work. And I guess I owe it to myself to give more of MTT's recordings a chance.

Hah! :D Another composer MTT does incredibly well in is Ives.
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #204 on: March 11, 2020, 10:05:48 AM »
Hah! :D Another composer MTT does incredibly well in is Ives.

I've got one of the MTT Ives CDs; Symphony No.3 and Orchestral Suite No.2 with the RCO. I haven't given up on it yet, but I have not been as impressed as I have been with the Bernstein Ives recordings I also have. Ives is not a composer I consider to be a favorite, but I recognize his importance and do enjoy some of his music. I'll try and give that disc a listen today or tomorrow.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #205 on: March 11, 2020, 10:08:38 AM »
I've got one of the MTT Ives CDs; Symphony No.3 and Orchestral Suite No.2 with the RCO. I haven't given up on it yet, but I have not been as impressed as I have been with the Bernstein Ives recordings I also have. Ives is not a composer I consider to be a favorite, but I recognize his importance and do enjoy some of his music. I'll try and give that disc a listen today or tomorrow.

Ives was one of the first composers I got into and left a huge impression on me. I can certainly understand how Ives would be difficult for some listeners.

Anyway back to Adams... (even though I’ve got nothing to say about this composer) :)
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Offline Maestro267

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #206 on: March 13, 2020, 01:52:20 AM »
I think I'm going to get the Rattle/CBSO recording of this work. I didn't realize it was symphonic in any way, but I have not heard it all.

Anything can be symphonic in the 20th century. Harmonielehre is a substantial statement in three movements for a large symphony orchestra. Ticks all the boxes of what can broadly be termed A Symphony.

Offline kyjo

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #207 on: June 05, 2020, 12:37:49 PM »
Anything can be symphonic in the 20th century. Harmonielehre is a substantial statement in three movements for a large symphony orchestra. Ticks all the boxes of what can broadly be termed A Symphony.

+1 Harmonielehre is an incredible work! I’ve also recently been struck by his “choral symphony” Harmonium, a work of thrilling, intoxicating energy:

https://youtu.be/BM0w3kukbQs
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #208 on: June 05, 2020, 01:13:00 PM »
+1 Harmonielehre is an incredible work! I’ve also recently been struck by his “choral symphony” Harmonium, a work of thrilling, intoxicating energy:

https://youtu.be/BM0w3kukbQs

Harmonium is a fantastic work, Kyle. What other Adams works do you enjoy besides Harmonium and Harmonielehre?
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Offline kyjo

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #209 on: June 05, 2020, 01:50:24 PM »
Harmonium is a fantastic work, Kyle. What other Adams works do you enjoy besides Harmonium and Harmonielehre?

Well, most pieces I’ve heard by him, pretty much: The Chairman Dances, Century Rolls, Shaker Loops, Scheherazade.2, Absolute Jest, and Fellow Traveler, to name a few. I tend to be rather skeptical about contemporary composers who garner a lot of “hype” but I think in Adams’ case it’s mostly deserved, although of course there are many other contemporary composers who should get more exposure but don’t.
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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #210 on: June 05, 2020, 02:50:13 PM »
Well, most pieces I’ve heard by him, pretty much: The Chairman Dances, Century Rolls, Shaker Loops, Scheherazade.2, Absolute Jest, and Fellow Traveler, to name a few. I tend to be rather skeptical about contemporary composers who garner a lot of “hype” but I think in Adams’ case it’s mostly deserved, although of course there are many other contemporary composers who should get more exposure but don’t.

Very nice, Kyle. Besides Harmonium, Harmonielehre and Shaker Loops (three masterpieces, IMHO), I also love Naive & Sentimental Music, the Violin Concerto, Grand Pianola Music, The Dharma at Big Sur, My Father Knew Charles Ives, Gnarly Buttons, The Wound-Dresser and his latest work, Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? is quite good I must say. Ferociously difficult to perform I imagine, but this is the kind of work that rewards the listener, especially when they go back and listen to it again. I do rather like The Chairman Dances as well. I have never cared for any of his operas and I found the last time I tried to listen to Nixon in China it was a slog to get through, but, of course, I’m not really a huge opera fan to begin with.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 02:52:40 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline CRCulver

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #211 on: June 05, 2020, 10:51:44 PM »
For me, the HD release of the Metropolitan Opera production of Nixon in China was the key to getting into that work. It is much more engaging when you can see the visuals. Especially the Madame Mao coloratura soprano part is exciting to watch.

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #212 on: June 06, 2020, 08:50:05 AM »
The last work I heard of him was John's Book of Alleged Dances, for string quartet (from this recording):



Thoroughly fun. I recall being quite excited by the vitality and wit of this piece. Recommended for those who don't know it yet.

Adams may be my favorite minimalist composer.
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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #213 on: September 29, 2021, 06:35:55 AM »
The last work I heard of him was John's Book of Alleged Dances, for string quartet (from this recording):



Thoroughly fun. I recall being quite excited by the vitality and wit of this piece. Recommended for those who don't know it yet.

Adams may be my favorite minimalist composer.

This is a great work, Cesar. I do wonder, however, if its fair to call Adams a Minimalist when the evolution of the composer is quite noticeable after those works like Harmonielehre, Nixon in China and Shaker Loops for example.

Here's an interesting quote from Adams: "I don't think you can be a great composer unless you have a feeling for harmony." Being a harmonically-minded musician myself, I sympathize with this viewpoint. Besides Adams great sense of rhythm, I think his harmonic language is quite interesting in that he kind of borrows from Late-Romanticism (Impressionism as well) and jazz and found a way to combine them. I think his melodic gifts also don't get mentioned enough, but often his melodies are somehow tied into the rhythms, which lends a unique sound altogether.
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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #214 on: September 29, 2021, 06:21:43 PM »
This is a great work, Cesar. I do wonder, however, if its fair to call Adams a Minimalist when the evolution of the composer is quite noticeable after those works like Harmonielehre, Nixon in China and Shaker Loops for example.

Here's an interesting quote from Adams: "I don't think you can be a great composer unless you have a feeling for harmony." Being a harmonically-minded musician myself, I sympathize with this viewpoint. Besides Adams great sense of rhythm, I think his harmonic language is quite interesting in that he kind of borrows from Late-Romanticism (Impressionism as well) and jazz and found a way to combine them. I think his melodic gifts also don't get mentioned enough, but often his melodies are somehow tied into the rhythms, which lends a unique sound altogether.

I have to agree with all what you expressed here, John. Yes, Adams is far from being minimalist, actually. His sound world is much richer and variegated.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #215 on: September 29, 2021, 06:24:49 PM »
I have to agree with all what you expressed here, John. Yes, Adams is far from being minimalist, actually. His sound world is much richer and variegated.

Yes, indeed. Have you heard any of the operas, Cesar? I listened to The Death of Klinghoffer earlier today and enjoyed it immensely. I think the next one I'll listen to is Doctor Atomic.
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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #216 on: September 29, 2021, 06:40:56 PM »
Yes, indeed. Have you heard any of the operas, Cesar? I listened to The Death of Klinghoffer earlier today and enjoyed it immensely. I think the next one I'll listen to is Doctor Atomic.

No, I haven't, John. I scarcely know some orchestral works and chamber pieces, and that's all. I could be interested in them in the future.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #217 on: September 29, 2021, 07:27:49 PM »
No, I haven't, John. I scarcely know some orchestral works and chamber pieces, and that's all. I could be interested in them in the future.

Here's a video you might be interested in and anyone else who is just getting into Adams' music or what a better understanding of it:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/LRCtCB3y7mI" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/LRCtCB3y7mI</a>
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Adams' Apple-Cart (John Coolidge, that is!)
« Reply #218 on: October 02, 2021, 11:44:02 AM »
From the 'Listening' thread -

NP:

Adams
Harmonielehre
Berliners
Adams


From this new arrival -



Stunning! Adams' own take on his classic Harmonielehre is a bit on the slower side, but you can really hear all of the details of the work shine through. Completely exhilarating in its aural beauty.

An absolute first-rate performance of this masterpiece. Adams himself is quite a capable conductor and everything I've heard him conduct has been superb. For those Adams fans here, the Berliner box set is worth every penny even if you just download it for this performance. I'm quite curious to see some the documentaries on the blu-ray discs, especially where Adams talks about the works presented in this set.

Here's some videos that may be of interest:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/0WAE6Urqmlc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/0WAE6Urqmlc</a>

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/zHDJQ_kfmCg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/zHDJQ_kfmCg</a>
« Last Edit: October 02, 2021, 11:45:40 AM by Mirror Image »
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