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Notes and Editorial Reviews
'Gnarly Buttons' was nominated for the 1999 Grammy Award for "Best Classical Contemporary Composition."
John Adams continues his move away from strict minimalism with this CD of two new works: one for string quartet and prepared piano, the other for clarinet and small orchestra.
'John's Book of Alleged Dances' is an unusually playful work. First of all, there's the accompanying tape loop of prepared-piano sounds. Harking back to the work of John Cage, the piano has been prepared with screws, bolts and rubber erasers that have been inserted between its strings.
But have no fear that this work is a cacophony of noise. Far from it. Using hoe-downs, scat-songs and other music of vernacular origin (with the exception of one piece
which pays homage to Schubert), Adams has crafted a beguiling set of pieces that are fun and intricate but never lightweight.
'Gnarly Buttons' is rooted in Adams' childhood love for the clarinet, a love that was sparked by his father, who played in swing bands during the Depression. Like 'John's Book of Alleged Dances,' it is a delightful work filled with folk influences. And perhaps as a first in the history of music, this piece includes amidst its variety of unusual sounds a sampling of a cow moo! Read less
Works on This Recording
Gnarly Buttons by John Adams
Michael Collins (Clarinet)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1996; USA
Date of Recording: 07/1997
Venue: Air Studios, London, England
Length: 24 Minutes 12 Secs.
John's Book of Alleged Dances by John Adams
Joan Jeanrenaud (Cello),
Hank Dutt (Viola),
David Harrington (Violin),
John Sherba (Violin)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1994; USA
Date of Recording: 1995-96
Venue: Skywalker Sound, Nicasio, California
Length: 35 Minutes 40 Secs.
Notes: This work includes a pre-recorded rhythm track made of prepared piano sounds.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
It's pretty wild! October 23, 2012
By Grace Evans (Kailua, HI) See All My Reviews
"You may like this music. Or you may think it's rubbish. Either way, you'll be intrigued. Basically, it's John Adams noodling around. Enjoy!"