Piano Concertos on DG (Best of 2020)

John Adams Why Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? Yuja Wang, piano; Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, conductor Deutsche Grammophon Thomas Adés Adés Conducts Adés Kirill Gerstein, piano: Christianne Stotijn, mezzo-soprano, Mark Stone, baritone;  Boston Symphony, Thomas Adés, conductor Deutsche Grammophon This year saw the release of two formidable new piano concertos onContinue reading “Piano Concertos on DG (Best of 2020)”

John Adams: Violin Concerto (CD Review)

Violin Concerto – John Adams Leila Josefowicz, violin St. Louis Symphony, David Robertson, conductor Nonesuch CD Some recordings become touchstones in one’s collection. Despite there being several fine renditions out there, the 1996 Nonesuch CD of Gidon Kremer playing John Adams’ Violin Concerto (1993), with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s conducted by Kent Nagano, isContinue reading “John Adams: Violin Concerto (CD Review)”

Scheherazade.2

Out today on Nonesuch is John Adams’s Scheherazade.2, a concerto for violin and orchestra of symphonic proportions. Composed for soloist Leila Josefowicz and the St. Louis Symphony, conducted by David Robertson, it also features Chester Englander as a “shadow soloist” playing cimbalom.   The program is, deliberately one suspects, somewhat veiled, but uncannily timed. ItContinue reading “Scheherazade.2”

Tanglewood’s FCM on Monday

On Monday, July 21st at 8 PM, the last concert of Tanglewood’s 2014 Festival of Contemporary Music is a well-stocked program of orchestral works. The centerpiece is Roger Sessions’s Concerto for Orchestra, a work commissioned by the BSO thirty years ago. Steven Mackey’s violin concerto Beautiful Passing will feature as soloist Sarah Silver, one ofContinue reading “Tanglewood’s FCM on Monday”

Orli Shaham at Subculture

Pianist Orli Shaham’s new CD, American Grace, spotlights music by John Adams and Steven Mackey. Its centerpiece is a concerto written for Shaham by Mackey, Stumble to Grace, featuring the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conductor David Robertson. It also includes a barnstorming performance of Adams’s Hallelujah Junction performed by Shaham and Jon Kimura Parker – check out a “making of” video below. On Monday, MarchContinue reading “Orli Shaham at Subculture”

One less saxophone concerto to hunt down …

Full disclosure: Caroline Shaw has played my music, so I make no claim to objectivity here. _____ The day after Paul Moravec won the Pulitzer prize, John Adams started shooting from the hip about the Pulitzer going to “academic composers.” I was annoyed. But I figured, “Okay, he’s being a jerk, but Paul is anContinue reading “One less saxophone concerto to hunt down …”