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John Adams at Arts Centre

I am not a big fan of modern classical music. It is often “interesting” and “attention grabbing” but it often fails the want-to-hear-it-again test.  An exception for me is the minimalist music of John Adams that I have enjoyed for more than 2 decades following the release of Harmonielehre in 1985.   Adams is visiting Australia and last night appeared as conductor/composer at the Melbourne Arts Centre. He conducted his 5-minute, Short Ride in a Fast Machine, his award-winning Violin Concerto and his energetic and enervating City Noir Symphony – a strange jazz-inspired takeoff from those dramatic opening passages in black and white noir cinema – a sample.

Adams is a very animated conductor – he “grooved” along with the music.  Watching him I enjoyed his music more because he obviously did!  His style is very American and that is a positive in this context.

Shaker Loops and the Adam’s fascinating opera Nixon in China are good listening.

2 comments to John Adams at Arts Centre

  • davidp

    I like two operas by Phillip Glass: Satyagraha (particularly the second act) and Akhenaten. And have heard about Nixon in China – will track down the pieces you mentioned

  • hc

    David “Nixon in China” I’ve got on DVD and Blu-Ray. Don’t buy.

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