Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

John Adams - Harmonielehre (1985)

Edo De Waart conducting the San Francisco Symphony. Recorded at Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, March 23, 1985.

To save space, I'll link to information about this piece from Wikipedia and Adam's own website, Soundclips are available at and on the Nonesuch Records website.

I enjoy this orchestral work, particularly the first and third movements.  One of the best serious orchestral pieces of the 1980's for sure.  There's some great writing for horn players and percussionists in there.  The orchestra sounds great and, although these classical recordings are often rush jobs, seems to cleanly capture the spirit of the composition.  Adams himself notes that "despite the daunting length and rhythmic complexity of the piece, both conductor and orchestra made a totally convincing representation of it, and the recording can testify to the rare instances when a composer, a conductor, and an orchestra create an inexplicable bond among each other."  Who am I to argue with that?

For you movie buffs, the third movement of this piece (along with other Adams works) was used in the 2009 Italian film I Am Love.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

Previously revisited for the blog:
Chamber Symphony/Grand Pianola Music (1994)
Fearful Symmetries/The Wound Dresser (1989)

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