Naive & Sentimental Music (CD) ~ Esa-Pekka Salonen (Conductor) Cover Art

John Adams: Naive & Sentimental Music (CD)

By: Esa-Pekka Salonen (Conductor), Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (Ensemble) and David Tanenbaum (Performer)


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Album Description

The album is 48-minutes of Adams most ambitious symphonic work to date performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Nonesuch Records. Slipcase. 2002.

Product Notes

Dedicated to conductor (and fellow composer) Esa-Pekka Salonen, John Adams's Naïve and Sentimental Music is an awe-inspiring work of ambitious scope. It seeks to tackle the polarity between the naïve and the sentimental artist (the former oblivious to her place in nature, the latter preoccupied with location in the order of things) and uses wild juxtapositions to advance Adams's investigation. A wafting flute and harp open the three-part, 44-minute piece, but they are overcome by lurching brass, rumbling percussion, reedy woodwinds, and a palpable urgency. The second movement, "Mother of the Man," is, by vivid contrast, an almost ambient piece, floating on broad-stroked violins, bowed vibraphone, bell-struck percussion, and David Tannenbaum's textured guitar work. And then comes the final movement, "Chain to the Rhythm," the most recognizably minimalist excursion in what amounts to a symphony--in every way but its name. Cells of sound, oboes, cellos, vibraphones jut out as clarinets oscillate and twitter. There's a shimmer, a stammering vibrational effect, and a return to the first movement's growing urgency. Has the naïve artist discovered, anxiety-ridden, the insurmountable pressure of the sentimental artist? It's for the composer to know and the listener to find out. In any event, Naïve and Sentimental Music stands out singularly as Adams's most astonishing large-scale instrumental work, a piece that demands repeated listens and never disappoints. --Andrew Bartlett



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