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Adams: Grand Pianola Music; Reich / Wilson, Et Al

Release Date: 08/16/2005 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 31534   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  John AdamsSteve Reich
Performer:  Kimball WheelerUrsula OppensJane BrydenPamela Wood Ambush,   ... 
Conductor:  Ransom Wilson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Solisti New York
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A quite different kind of contemporary creativity is offered by John Adams, who is of the Minimalist school (which means making a lot out of a little, mainly by repetitive devices). My introduction to his music came with Shaker Loops. There are four linked movements and in spite of the repeating syndrome the effect is both imaginative and hypnotic... But the piece which really convinces me that the Minimalist school could instigate a genuinely creative originality, is the HMV issue of Adams's Grand Pianola Music directed by Ransom Wilson. This is much more ambitious than it sounds for the Solisti New York feature voices and provide a wide orchestral palate, including percussion, with the pianos consistently embroidering the texture. The Read more first movement is powerfully kaleidoscopic, the second serene and the finale makes a crossover into the world of pop music for its material, to build a huge climax on a single melodic fragment with most compulsive effect... I do urge collectors to sample this remarkable music.

-- Gramophone [1/1986]


The very mention of 'minimalist' music is calculated to produce a pronounced reaction but works by the two composers on this disc have already made an appearance on CD and in reviewing the LP of this disc Max Harrison found the three pieces both interesting and entertaining. It is certainly excellently recorded with exceptional clarity. A most impressive bass drum will jerk you upright at times from the general level of the tinkling, forever shifting, piano background which is set rather low. Vermont Counterpoint, the woodwind piece, is technically interesting as Ransom Wilson taped all nine of the ensemble parts plus one solo line and added the second solo line live. Listening to it makes one wonder how many hours he must have spent knitting together all the strands.

-- Geoffrey Horn, Gramophone [3/1987]
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Works on This Recording

Grand Pianola Music by John Adams
Performer:  Kimball Wheeler (Soprano), Ursula Oppens (Piano), Jane Bryden (Soprano),
Pamela Wood Ambush (Soprano), Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Conductor:  Ransom Wilson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Solisti New York
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1982; USA 
Venue:  Lehman College for the Performing Arts 
Length: 32 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Eight Lines by Steve Reich
Conductor:  Ransom Wilson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Solisti New York
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979/1983; USA 
Venue:  Lehman Coll Performing Arts Center, NYC 
Length: 18 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Vermont Counterpoint by Steve Reich
Performer:  Ransom Wilson (Flute)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1982; USA 
Venue:  Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, 
Length: 8 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: This work is scored for three alto flutes, three flutes, and three piccolos, plus two solo lines in each of which the soloist plays all three instruments. In performance all but one solo line are intended to be heard on tape. On this recording Ransom Wilson plays all eleven parts. 

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