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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

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Hallelujah Junction - for two pianos
Written by John Adams in 1996

Performed by the Goya Piano Duo (Claudia Dafne Sevilla Carriòn & Théodore Lambert)
Link to original audio source:

Associated Music Publishers, Inc ©

Hallelujah Junction is a composition for two pianos written in 1996 by the American composer John Adams. Adams titled his autobiography after this composition. A two-CD retrospective album of works by Adams on the Nonesuch label is also entitled Hallelujah Junction, but does not include the composition.

The name comes from a small truck stop on US 395 which meets Alternate US 40, (now State Route 70) near the California–Nevada border. Adams said of the piece, "Here we have a case of a great title looking for a piece. So now the piece finally exists: the 'junction' being the interlocking style of two-piano writing which features short, highly rhythmicized motives bouncing back and forth between the two pianos in tightly phased sequences".

The work centers around delayed repetition between the two pianos, creating an effect of echoing sonorities. There is a constant shift of pulse and meter, but the main rhythms are based on the rhythms of the word "Hal–le–LU–jah".

The work is in three unnamed movements, and generally takes about 16 minutes to perform. It was first performed by Grant Gershon and Gloria Cheng at the Getty Center in Brentwood, California, in 1998. It is dedicated to Ernest Fleischmann, long-time general manager of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Attacca Quartet: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Tom Huizenga | November 18, 2016 - Classical music observers say we're living in a golden age of string quartets. It's hard to disagree when you hear the vibrant young players in New York's Attacca Quartet.

They revere the old school, having recently completed a performance cycle of all 68 string quartets by Joseph Haydn, the man who invented the genre. They also hunger for the new, exploring the music of three living composers each year in a project called Recently Added.

One contemporary composer the group continues to champion is John Adams. The head-banging pulsations of "Toot Nipple" (titled after a character in an Annie Proulx story) contrast with the slippery and funky episodes in "Alligator Escalator." Adams has said he imagined such a creature waddling up and down the floors of Macy's department store. The two movements belong to John's Book of Alleged Dances from 1994.

Next to Adams, Haydn sounds positively genteel, but you needn't look far to find the composer's own feisty side. Sunny skies suddenly turn threatening at the turn of a phrase — a trend in Haydn's time known as Sturm und Drang, or "Storm and Stress" — when moods can swing wildly with impunity.

Measured by the cello's tick-tock pizzicato, the mood of Michael Ippolito's Smoke Rings is languid, even a little trippy. Inspired by a 14th-century French song about a smoking society, the composer employs long, slow strokes and light bow pressure for a hazy texture. The music heats up dramatically midway through, only to drift back into the smoke.

Fellow Traveler is available now:

Adams: "Toot Nipple"
Adams: "Alligator Escalator"
Haydn: "String Quartet in D, Op. 76, No. 5 — I. Allegretto"
Ippolito: "Smoke Rings"

Amy Schroeder, Keiko Tokunaga (violin); Nathan Schram (viola); Andrew Yee (cello)

Producers: Tom Huizenga, Niki Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Nicole Boliaux; Editor: Nicole Boliaux; Supervising Editor: Niki Walker; Production Assistant: Anna Marketti; Photo: Raquel Zaldivar/NPR.

John Adams - Scheherazade.2

Há momentos em que as coincidências acontecem. A verdade é que já tinha comprado bilhetes para este concerto quando li o livro do Salman Rushdie (já com tradução portuguesa) mas agora que volto a pensar nisso, Xerazade e os seus Jinns andam a aparecer bastante na minha vida. Diz a apresentação do concerto:

Essential American composer John Adams brings his own take on storytelling to the Barbican including a new dramatic symphony for violin and orchestra.

Performed by close collaborator and new music champion Leila Josefowicz, Adam’s latest work takes the idea of the original Scheherazade into the present day and “imagines a modern woman storyteller/hostage whose strength of character and powers of endurance are tested over and over”. There are more traditional tales to be told in the first half with Ravel’s youthful ballet score Mother Goose, featuring Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb and Beauty and the Beast.

Para a semana vou, então, ouvir "Scheherazade.2" de John Adams, um dos meus compositores contemporâneos favoritos, dirigida pelo próprio, com uma primeira parte dedicada a Ravel. A peça teve estreia mundial em Nova Iorque com Alan Gilbert a dirigir a New York Philharmonic e está aqui abaixo a partir do minuto 55.

Leila Josefowicz is the soloist in the World Premiere of Scheherazade.2 by John Adams. Also featured is The Enchanted Lake by Anatoly Lyadov and Petrushka by Igor Stravinsky. Music Director Alan Gilbert conducts. The program is hosted by Alec Baldwin and produced by Mark Travis.


00:00:00: Billboard and intro to Lyadov
00:02:00: LYADOV: The Enchanted Lake
00:09:05: Back-announcement and intro to Stravinsky
00:11:39: STRAVINSKY: Petrushka
00:47:20: Back-announcement and intro to Adams
00:55:45: ADAMS: Scheherazade.2
01:44:59: Back-announcement and credits
TRT: 01:47:15