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Adams: Harmonielehre; Short Ride in a Fast Machine / Michael Tilson Thomas

Album Summary

>Adams, John : Harmonielehre
>Adams, John : Short Ride in a Fast Machine, fanfare for orchestra
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This recording represents the latest chapter in the long time collaboration between composer John Adams and Michael Tilson Thomas. Here, MTT and the San Francisco Symphony perform Adams' orchestral masterpiece Harmonielehre, a milestone of American minimalism first premiered by the orchestra in 1985. Paired with the joyful Short Ride in a Fast Machine, this new release from the GRAMMY® award winning San Francisco Symphony is a must-have for any collection.

The Independent
This new recording captures its unbridled potency, from the monochord fanfare through the enigmatic yearning reminiscent of Herrmann's Vertigo, to the resolution of the insistent strings and woodwind.

The Times
Adams has a closer relationship with the San Francisco Symphony than any other orchestra, so it's fitting that Michael Tilson Thomas's band should release superb recordings of two of Adams's finest orchestral pieces to mark its centenary...Performances are supremely clear, cogent and virtuosic.

Gramophone Magazine
[Harmonielehre] requires a very safe pair of conductor's hands to smooth out its eclectic fissures. Michael Tilson Thomas is about as safe as one could wish for...both live recordings serve to reinforce Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony's status as true champions of Adam's orchestral music.

BBC Music Magazine
More than in previous recordings, Michael Tilson Thomas's superbly paced approach conveys the music's sense of vast surrounding spaces, and the momentum of the biggest passages is the more thrilling for being cannily unrushed.

American Record Guide, July / August 2012
Adams's joyous fanfare Short Ride in a Fast Machine (1986) is appended as an encore - a dazzling performance. Enthusiastic applause is included with both pieces, which were recorded at separate concerts.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco.


Short Ride in a Fast Machine
John Adams goes for a ride
"You know how it is when someone asks you to ride in a terrific sports car, and then you wish you hadn't?" That's how the American composer John Adams described his orchestral miniature "Short Ride in a Fast Machine," which received its premiere on today's date by the Pittsburgh Symphony at the 1986 Great Woods Festivals in Mansfield, Mass.
Since then, Adams' "Short Ride" has had a "long run" -- it now ranks as one of the most-frequently performed of all contemporary American orchestra pieces.
From 1979 until 1985, Adams served as the San Francisco Symphony's first Composer-in-Residence. In notes for a Symphony program, the late Michael Steinberg had these comments about Adams' "Ride."
"'Short Ride in a Fast Machine' begins with a marking of quarter notes (woodblock, soon joined by the four trumpets) and eighths (clarinets and synthesizers); the woodblock is fortissimo and the other instruments play forte. Adams describes the woodblock's persistence as 'almost sadistic' and thinks of the rest of the orchestra as running the gauntlet through that rhythmic tunnel."
Another commentator suggested that "this music is like a roller coaster that just goes fast as the dickens. It's also hair-raisingly difficult to play."
The composer determined the tone of the four-minute piece when he marked at the beginning of the work, "Delirando," which means "delirious."
John Zeck APM Composers Datebook http://download.publicradio.org/podcast/composers_datebook/2012/06/13/datebook_20120613_128.mp3?_kip_ipx=1642602070-1339567706

Submitted on 06/13/12 by bj 
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Works Details

>Adams, John : Harmonielehre
  • Conductor: Michael Thomas
  • Ensemble: San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco (12/08/2010-12/11/2010)
  • Running Time: 41 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1984-1985
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Adams, John : Short Ride in a Fast Machine, fanfare for orchestra
  • Conductor: Michael Thomas
  • Ensemble: San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 5 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1986
  • Studio/Live: Live