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ADAMS: Shaker Loops / Wound Dresser / Short Ride in a Fast Machine

Composer(s):Adams, JohnBusoni, Ferruccio
Artist(s) Gunn, Nathan, baritone • Alsop, Marin, Conductor • Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period(s) 20th CenturyContemporary
Genre Classical Music
Category OrchestralVocal
Catalogue 8.559031
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

The story of John Adams is a truly American one. Raised in Massachusetts and trained as a composer at Harvard, at the age of 24 he headed west to San Francisco in order to distance himself from his neo-European upbringing. Shaker Loops, written in the heyday of American minimalism, helped to earn him a place as one of the most famous living composers. It borrows the technique of looping fragments of melody from Steve Reich’s early tape experiments, and continues to be one of Adams’ most frequently performed works. Also included on this disc is Short Ride in a Fast Machine, four minutes of pure aural adrenaline, and The Wound- Dresser, a pensive adaptation of Walt Whitman’s poem about his experiences as a nurse during the civil war.


Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

If you are seeking an introduction to the music of John Adams, you cannot better this splendidly played anthology from Marin Alsop and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, vividly recorded within an ideal acoustic. The whizzing Short Ride in a Fast Machine immediately has hit potential but finds its counterpart in the touchingly gentle Berceuse élégiaque, while the moving lament of the Walt Whitman civil war Wound Dresser shows just how naturally Adams writes for the voice. It is finely sung by Nathan Gunn against the simplest orchestral backcloth, with strings dominating. But the highlight of the disc is Adams’s early (1978) masterpiece, heard here in a 1983 revision, Shaker Loops. Here he draws on the minimalist style of Steve


Review By Pierre Ruhe,The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,January 2005

The score to Rameau's last opera, "Les Boreades," was written (and shelved) in 1763 and only rediscovered in 1982. Alphise is a queen who must marry within her class. Her choices: a couple of suitors, both duds, from the clan of the harsh god of the North Wind, Boreas. Naturally, she's in love with a mortal. (Happy ending: He turns out to be Apollo's son.)

Although the conductor isn't seen in "Les Boreades," he is the core of the performance. Buffalo-born and Harvard-educated, William Christie is dean of the French early-music scene. As usual, he draws crisp, nuanced, immaculate playing from his Les Arts Florissants ensemble, supporting energized singers and dancers.


Review By Anthony Tommasini,Sunday NYTimes,January 2005

WHEN several major American orchestras found themselves simultaneously looking for music directors some years back, the name of the American conductor Marin Alsop was noticeably missing from the shortlists. Though Ms. Alsop had long been hailed as a dynamic conductor with an adventurous spirit and a palpable connection to the music of her time, and though she had achieved excellent results as the head of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, you suspected that the tradition-bound major orchestras were simply not ready to take the step of appointing a woman as music director.



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