Adams: Absolute Jest - Grand Pianola Music San Francisco Symphony Orchestra & Michael Tilson Thomas

Cover Adams: Absolute Jest - Grand Pianola Music

Album info



Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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FLAC 96 $ 13.40
  • John Adams (1947- ): Absolute Jest:
  • 1Beginning -10:35
  • 2Presto -03:30
  • 3Lo stesso tempo -01:07
  • 4Meno mosso -03:18
  • 5Vivacissimo -01:49
  • 6Prestissimo05:21
  • Grand Pianola Music:
  • 7Part I15:23
  • 8Part I: Slow, quarter note = 6607:46
  • 9Part II: On the Dominant Divide08:45
  • Total Runtime57:34

Info for Adams: Absolute Jest - Grand Pianola Music

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony join forces with America’s most-performed living composer, John Adams, in a colossal album featuring Adams’ Absolute Jest and Grand Pianola Music. Hear Adams’ inspired and witty take on Beethoven’s spirited scherzos in this first-ever recording of his SFS-commissioned Absolute Jest. Also featured is Grand Pianola Music, with its tongue-in-cheek allusions to Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, written for and premiered by the SFS. Both works speak to the deeply personal and vital relationship of some of the top musicians of our time: John Adams, MTT, and the San Francisco Symphony.

“there’s no disputing its brilliance and audacity. Absolute Jest (2012) is an energetic concerto for string quartet (the St Lawrence) and orchestra, a hyper-scherzo whose ingeniously developed themes are lifted from Beethoven and performed here with glittering swagger.” (Sunday Times)

“[Grand Pianola Music] is an exuberant, larger-than-life freefall through musical history, the off-the-leash arpeggios typical of Beethoven's late piano sonatas bumping into Liszt then, controversially, ending up glittering like Liberace's candelabra…Absolute Jest is…an entertaining diversion and the San Francisco SO respond winningly to Adams's tailor-made if, at times, disappointingly generic orchestration.” (Gramophone Magazine)

“Here is wit, rough passion, gravity and playfulness...the dialogue between the St Lawrence String Quartet and the San Francisco Orchestra is brilliantly cogent and clear. Absolute Jest is a bravura experiment that will delight Adams's champions and appall his detractors.” (BBC Music Magazine)

"... These are both wonderful performances, and Thomas clearly wrings every ounce of energy from the music, moving it to a joyful, transcendent level ... The St Lawrence Quartet is outstanding. The sound is stunning; this comes from the SF Symphony's own label. This is a 'must-get', and a leading contender already for my next Want List." (Robert Carl, Fanfare)

"Absolute Jest is playful, in the literal sense of scherzo as joke, but it is by no means lightweight the sound quality of this HighResAudio release is magnificently expansive: crisp, spacious and crystalline." (Lisa MacKinney, Limelight magazine)

San Francisco Symphony
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor

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Booklet for Adams: Absolute Jest - Grand Pianola Music

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