John Adams is one of the most important composers in the USA today. On the CBC concert on demand site I discovered a new string quartet that has been played in a concert by the St. Lawrence String Quartet
I have seen several works by John Adams, and liked all of it. Some years ago I saw a great performance of his stage work I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky, and I do also like listening to the CD of this work. I have also seen the opera Nixon in China.
Recently I have read the biographical book Hallelujah Junction – a book that is very interesting if you want to learn about how a contemporary composer works and lives.
The first piece by John Adams that I have heard is a piece named Gnarly Buttons, a piece for solo clarinet and an ensemble that includes a player who has to play banjo, mandolin and guitar.
And in the second movement you can hear a sampled cow (ca.3:50 min. after he beginning).
I had found a very good performance of this piece by the Ensemble Intercontemporain conducted by Jonathan Nott, with Andre Trouttet on the clarinet – however those videos have been removed.
The third movement of Gnarly Buttons is my favorite! Great music!!!
Additional information John Adams
Website of John Adams: http://www.earbox.com/
John Adams about Gnarly Buttons: http://www.earbox.com/W-gnarlybuttons.html
Wikipedia: Gnarly Buttons
Videos of Gnarly Buttons
The following videos with movements of Gnarly Buttons are available at the moment:
Playlist – John Adams Gnarly Buttons
Recordings of Gnarly Buttons by John Adams
A free and complete recording of Gnarly Buttons with Sean Osborn (clarinet) is available at the following page:
John Adams: ‘Grand’ And ‘Gnarly’ In Concert
A very interesting radio feature with parts from the 60th birthday concert for John Adams with several pieces including the 2nd and 3rd movement of Gnarly Buttons is available from NPR. John Adams talks about the pieces.
- Hoe-Down (Mad Cow)
- Put Your Loving Arms Around Me
Grand Pianola Music
- Part 1A
- Part 1B
- On the Great Divide
CDs with compositions by John Adams – Amazon partnerlink: