Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|John Adams - A Portrait and a Concert of American Music|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
I'm glad we have this...
Gerard Dionne | 05/28/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This disk is a nice blend of concert and a get-to-know-the-composer docu-butinsky. Adams is comradely and accessible as a personality, closely mirroring his music. His artist's pallet has expanded over the years to encompass a more eclectic panoply of musical traditions. This superminimalism now draws from the romantic period of western classical music, interposing it with Javanese gamelon, American and European folk, jazz and pop; this in sharp contrast to Philip Glass and Steve Reich, the two composers to which Adams is so often compared. Some might argue that Glass and Reich have chosen to refine and distill minimalism, while Adams has grown beyond it. Particularly interesting were Adams' comments on Anton Webern, the early 20th century composer who pared romantic excess down to pure essence. Adams regards his economy of means as stingy, while Glass continues to hold Webern in highest regard. This split is reflected in the resulting musics. The concert in Paris by the ensemble originally organized by Pierre Boulez includes Adams' "Gnarly Buttons" and "Chamber Symphony" plus "Eight Lines" by Steve Reich, and two posthumously orchestrated pieces from Conlon Nancarrow's music originally realized on player piano. Some untranscribed sections from the latter are probably still not performable by human hands because of their metric complexity and speed. It was wonderful to SEE and hear these live. While there is some minor imprecision here and there, the performances are wonderfully alive and exuberant. All told, the concert more than compliments the documentary."