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American Classics - Adams: Shaker Loops, Etc / Alsop, Gunn, Et Al


Release Date: 10/19/2004 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559031   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ferruccio BusoniJohn Adams
Performer:  Nathan Gunn
Conductor:  Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Marin Alsop and her Bournemouth players do themselves proud on this excellently played and brightly recorded disc of Adams chestnuts. Short Ride in a Fast Machine receives its peppiest, most exciting performance on disc, with crystal clear textures and a bounce to the rhythm that makes its four minutes flash by before you know it. Nathan Gunn sings The Wound-Dresser as well as Sanford Sylvan does on the composer's own recording, though the piece itself has always struck me as a touch heavy-handed and long for its material--but this is a very subjective thing. In Shaker Loops, Alsop and her players capture the diaphanous string textures very well, and most importantly never drag. In fact, the piece times out almost exactly the same as Adams' Read more rendition.


The single dull moment concerns the Berceuse élégiaque. Though nowhere mentioned in the booklet notes, this actually is a reduction for chamber orchestra of Busoni's original. It is skillfully made, to be sure, but not terribly interesting as compared to the original, and this performance strikes me as a touch too slow and subdued. Also, putting this piece and The Wound Dresser in between Short Ride and Shaker Loops makes for a somewhat lugubrious half hour, programming-wise. Still and all, this inexpensive disc offers an opportunity to sample Adams' output in performances that are fully comparable to anything available today, including the composer's versions on Nonesuch. So if you collect Adams or are looking to see what all of the fuss is about (and make no mistake, his is a major voice in contemporary music), buy this fine disc with confidence.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Berceuse elégiaque, Op. 42a by Ferruccio Busoni
Conductor:  Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; Berlin, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: John Adams. 
2.
Fanfares (2) for Orchestra: Short Ride in a Fast Machine by John Adams
Conductor:  Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1986; USA 
3.
The Wound-Dresser by John Adams
Performer:  Nathan Gunn (Baritone)
Conductor:  Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; USA 
4.
Shaker Loops by John Adams
Conductor:  Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978; USA 
Notes: Version: 1983 

Sound Samples

Short Ride in a Fast Machine
The Wound-Dresser
Berceuse elegiaque, Op. 42 (arr. J. Adams): Berceuse elegiaque (arr. J. Adams)
Shaker Loops (version for string orchestra): Shaking and Trembling
Shaker Loops (version for string orchestra): Hymning Slews
Shaker Loops (version for string orchestra): Loops and Verses
Shaker Loops (version for string orchestra): A Final Shaking

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