JOHN ADAMS Absolute Jest

“[Grand Pianola Music] is an exuberant, larger-than-life freefall through musical history, the off-the-leash arpeggios typical of Beethoven's late piano sonatas bumping into Liszt then, controversially, ending up glittering like Liberace's candelabra…Absolute Jest is…an entertaining diversion and the San Francisco SO respond winningly to Adams's tailor-made if, at times, disappointingly generic orchestration.” --Gramophone Magazine, September 2015

“Here is wit, rough passion, gravity and playfulness...the dialogue between the St Lawrence String Quartet and the San Francisco Orchestra is brilliantly cogent and clear. Absolute Jest is a bravura experiment that will delight Adams's champions and appall his detractors.” --BBC Music Magazine, October 2015 ****

“Adams’s Grand Pianola Music succeeds in its referencing of Beethoven’s cascading arpeggios, but the Absolute Jest is limited by the shards of scherzos...As this new, superb live recording, with Orli Shaham and Marc-André Hamelin as the two swashbuckling pianists shows, Grand Pianola Music...was a manifesto, a statement of intent.” --The Guardian, 29th July 2015 ****

“a fantastic performance by all concerned, not least the wordless female vocal trio that Adams employs, and a terrifingly high but immaculately performed tuba solo in the slow movement. A great disc, then, for all Adams fans!” --Presto Classical, 14th August 2015

“there’s no disputing its brilliance and audacity. Absolute Jest (2012) is an energetic concerto for string quartet (the St Lawrence) and orchestra, a hyper-scherzo whose ingeniously developed themes are lifted from Beethoven and performed here with glittering swagger.” --Sunday Times, 16th August 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment