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Chamber Symphony/ Grand Pianola Music

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Customer Reviews


Okay, I'm no music buff, but I love John Adams, Grand Pianola is my favorite piece, and I was extremely disappointed when I purchased the Solisti version (before this version was available on iTunes). This version strikes me as being more epic and beautiful. It's incredible writing music, and really shows the emotional punch that minimalism can pack.


Two very different styles from different periods of the composer's evolution which make for an interesting pairing. Both are enjoyable and well worth having; Grand Pianola Music was the first piece that I had ever heard of Adam's work and it was love at first listen. The Chamber Symphony came much later and is a fascinating work of Adam's that represents almost the extreme opposite of Grand Pianola Music, whereas the first mixes minimalism with strong melodic components and generally flows evenly within movements, The Chamber Symphony is edgy, fun and full of unexpected twists and turns. Great recordings as well.

Perhaps Adams' Best Work

Perhaps I am alone in feeling this way, but I like the Grand Pianola Music as much or more than anything else I've ever heard by John Adams. At times it is overblown, it is often repetitive, and it is occasionally a little silly, but I still enjoy it. There is some heart, originality, and genuine majesty to the work. As implied, I am not generally a lover of Adams' music, but I think this is as good as it gets, so I'm giving it four stars. This recording is, by the way, rich and well-suited to the piece. The Chamber Symphony is just okay.


Born: February 15, 1947 in Worcester, MA

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

New England-born, California-based composer John Adams is a pivotal figure in 20th century classical music, as he can be viewed as either the last of the minimalists or the first of the post-minimalists. Though his music shares several traits with that of Steve Reich, Philip Glass, or Terry Riley, Adams' music from his earliest works used a wide variety of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic ideas, making his music perhaps more accessible to a new listener who might find works like Riley's In C or Glass'...
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Adams: Chamber Symphony - Grand Pianola Music, John Adams
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