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John Adams: Violin Concerto, Shaker Loops

Gidon Kremer, Kent Nagano & London Symphony Orchestra

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Strongly recommended

John Adams' 'Violin Concerto' is a masterpiece, a piece of exquisite craftsmanship, daring originality and striking organicity. In the long, rhapsodic and highly intricate first movement Adams displays his true subtlety as a composer: the violin, in an almost unceasing line, weaves in and out of a pulsing, kaleidescope-like orchestral fabric, forging a delicate but masterful interplay of themes, harmonies, rhythms and textures. The final moments of this movement contain some of the most ravishingly beautiful music Adams has ever written. The second movement is nothing short of otherworldly; melancholic but hauntingly mysterious, taking as its basis a ground bass undeniably similar to that of Pachelbel's famous Canon in D. The boisterous, supremely exciting and qunitessentially 'Adamsian' finale contains all of Adams' trademarks: rhythmic mastery, a brilliant sense of timing, and an ear for sparkling orchestration. As in many of his works, Adams very effectively blends electronic soundscapes with those of the traditional orchestra. Though there are two other recordings of this concerto available (pretty darn good for a piece of contemporary music), this premier recording with Gidon Kremer, Kent Nagano, and the London Symphony Orchestra is by far the best, possessing the most color, balance, lucidity and atmosphere of all the three.


Great fully realized work by John Adams with many styles and influences. The III movement contains almost "verbatim" the introduction to Gustav Holst's The Planets. I am giving Adams the benefit of doubt, that he is paying homage to his like minded heroes and not blatantly plagiarizing. I would like to know the story behind this piece.


A fine recording and a highlight for John Adams!


Nacido/a: Riga, Latvia, 27 de febrero de 1947

Género: Clásica

Años de actividad: '90s, '00s, '10s

Violinist Gidon Kremer was born in Riga, Latvia on February 27, 1947; he began studying music at age four under the tutelage of his father and grandfather, both noted string players in their own right. Three years later he was accepted to the Riga Music School, and at 16 won first prize at the Latvian Republic. Following a tenure studying at the Moscow Conservatory under David Oistrakh, in 1967 Kremer took home top honors in the Queen Elizabeth Competition; he subsequently won first prize in Genoa's...
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John Adams: Violin Concerto, Shaker Loops, Gidon Kremer
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