Search - Sanford Sylvan, John [Composer] Adams, Charles Ives :: The John Adams Earbox: A 10-CD Retrospective

The John Adams Earbox: A 10-CD Retrospective
Sanford Sylvan, John [Composer] Adams, Charles Ives
The John Adams Earbox: A 10-CD Retrospective
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (5) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #3
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #4
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #5
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #6
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #7
  •  Track Listings (5) - Disc #8
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #9
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #10

Having earned his composing stripes after the 1960s, John Adams had the pioneering work of Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and Terry Riley close at hand as he ventured into his trade. And, while minimalism's historical conti...  more »

      
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Having earned his composing stripes after the 1960s, John Adams had the pioneering work of Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and Terry Riley close at hand as he ventured into his trade. And, while minimalism's historical continuum helps place Adams, he used Reich, Glass, and Riley (among others) only as a starting point. And here's proof: a 10-CD retrospective of nearly all Adams's recorded compositions on Nonesuch Records, the label that also issued Steve Reich 1965-1995 and Kronos Quartet: 25 Years. Adams's Harmonium, a choral work of startling energy and effervescence, appears here in a new recording, as do distillations of both The Death of Klinghoffer and Nixon in China, two path-clearing operas. Over the span of a career covered by Earbox, Adams has returned minimalism to traditional instrumental ensembles as well as to projects that at once advanced a political commentary and took that commentary back to orchestral audiences. And so, in far less time than his predecessors, Adams created works that now play like standard repertoire pieces: The Wound Dresser and Shaker Loops and the Violin Concerto--all of them are here. What these works demonstrate is a fierce creativity on the one hand and perhaps a hunger for commercial advances on the other. Adams may at times be a bustling free thinker, but he sounds ever conscious of what audiences are listening to. As for the works themselves, they remain every bit as daunting as when written. Some may object to particular selections. I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, for example, hardly ranks with Adams's best work. But this box isn't a mere best-of; it's an almost-all-of. At times terrifically American--especially in the news-aware operas and their narrative pragmatism--Adams well deserves a major box set, and its coverage is appropriate to his varied, stylistically diverse output. As with any large-scale retrospective, Earbox--which fairly bristles with Adams's new composition, Slonimsky's Earbox--has spots where fans might balk at the quality of the composer's writing. But it's got a fantastic accompanying booklet along with its many hours of inarguably modern and thoroughly listener-friendly music. --Andrew Bartlett

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CD Reviews

Our greatest living composer
Mr. F. L. Dunkin Wedd | 07/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As a composer, I'm staggered that anyone could fail to be gripped by this music. That anyone can use the words "spoiled, overrated" amazes me. I emphatically disagree with "A music fan"'s review.I don't think it's "mind-numbing"; I think it's spiritual and exciting. To me it's the most substantial music being created in our times.I'm really sorry that anyone could fail to enjoy it, and really recommend others to listen for themselves."
Nonesuch delivers.Again
A. Hogan | Brooklyn, NY USA | 11/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"John adams is one of the most popular living composers of"modern" classical music[I believe the cutoff point, though arbitrary is usually WWII}.I came to him late, through my husband. Modersn classical music , I said? What the hell is that?My husband kept playing bits and pieces of adams for me, and more and more i found myself amazed. and swayed. His operas have been groundbreaking{Nixon in China} controversial{Death Of klinghoffer},his compostions sublimely beautiful{shaker Loops or harmonium].HIS STATURE IS WORTHY THEN OF SUCH A MONUMENTAL CAREER SPANNING BOX SET.This 10 disc set[great value, again from NONESUCH}encompasses Adams' entire career,and though there are some misses here{I was looking at the ceiling and then i saw the sky doesnt quite fit},it is still magnificent. the Highlights are ,{for me} the Wound Dresser, Chamber symphony,Violin Concerto, of course, Shaker Loops and Harmonuim are wonderful. The true jewels here are Nixon in China,the Chairman dances and the Death of Klinghoffer,which is simply a masterpiece. The set comes with a wonderful book, which contains essay's by Robert Hurwitz {An Uncommon Man}renaud Machart[John adams as seen from europe} and Essays before an earbox by Adams himself.A Chronology and dicography are included. A wonderful study of an American original,worth the investment, Highly highly recommended"
Wonderful CD
Hal Helms | Marietta, GA United States | 04/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This compilation should turn even the most curmudgeonly listerner into a fan. Beautifully recorded, great notes -- and it's a heck of a bargain!"