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Adams - (Complete) Piano Music [CD]

Ralph van Raat Audio CD
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Frequently Bought Together

Adams - (Complete) Piano Music + John Adams:  Shaker Loops + Adams - Violin Concerto
Price For All Three: £17.98

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Product details

  • Composer: John Adams
  • Audio CD (29 Jan 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B000M2DNO6
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,409 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Phrygian Gates24:39Album Only
Listen  2. American Berserk 6:07£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. China Gates 5:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Hallelujah Junction15:59Album Only

Product Description

Phrygian Gates - American Berserk - China Gates - Hallelujah Junction / Ralph van Raat & Maarten van Veen, piano

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a shame - great music marred by poor sound 13 Dec 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
as a burgeoning fan of the US 's arguably most dynamic + talented 21 st C composer - John Adams i bought this on amazon a few weeks ago eager to hear more piano music by this talented composer.

i already own + admire Adam's extended work "phrygain gates" played by Hermann Kretschmar on the excellent rca red seal collection (with shaker loops,chamber symphony by ensemble modern) and was like i said - keen to hear more piano works. unfortunately - the works played here all suffer in varying degrees by a ruinous clangy, over live acoustic recording that completely robs the nuances of Adams music. the playing by solo performer Ralph van Reet compounds the problem i feel by heavy handedness + lack of pianissimo in key moments.

several tracks are pretty percussive anyway - such as "American Berserk" (6.04 minutes) and in particualar " Hallelujah Junction" for piano duo (16.05 mins) that recall a post-jazz meets Conlon Nancarrow style that needs both controlled nuanced playing + a non resonant/dry acoustic . this naxos recording here from 2006 doesn't give us it. in fact the duo performance of "Hallelujah Junction" all but damns this cd to the bargain bins of future cd stores with its atrocious clangy unsubtle rendition here. horrible .

only the masterly earlier work "Phrygian Gates" with its close associated structure to Adams early masterpiece post-minimalist "Shaker Loops" is marred again by the poor sound engineering in the forte passages. some of the beauty remains in passages but not for long alas.. buy this cd if v cheap, for this work alone here, then buy better alternatives such as by Hermann Kretschmar on rca.

however,look elsewhere for a more complimentary release of Adams intriguing piano works. a shame.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overview of Adams' Piano Music 31 Aug 2009
By Patrick Lomenzo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
My review is based upon my listening experience with this CD as well as a comparative view which I have gained through listening to a wide range of different classical piano CD's.

Comparative -

Sound quality - 5* Excellent. The recording is (true) digital and the piano sounds terrific.

Pianist - 5* He does a wonderful job representing Adams' work and I would feel hard pressed to find a better pianist to do such a quality job with this repertoire.

Value - 4* Four tracks is not the largest CD, but 2 of these tracks (1 and 4) together are 40 minutes long. Hence, this is an album you may want to listen to when you have the time to dedicate 15 or 25 minutes per track. Total play time is about 52 minutes. The price is great, however, so don't hesitate over the # of tracks because there is plenty of music contain within.

Listening Experience (Subjective)

1. Phygian gates - 5* A layered, complex piano piece that captivates the attentive listener. Melodies are somewhat sparce, but the outpouring of supporting notes drives this rhythmic and ambient music. The variations which Adams builds in his material is a joy to keep track of. There are many climaxes followed by soft troughs and the transitions are made all the more natural by this album's capable pianist. Ranging from quiet subtleties to romping dissonances, this 25-minute epic piano piece attempts to take the listener from peak to peak, and succeeds in its own unique way. The last chord is so prominent on this recording that one can feel the strings' reverberations changing as they come to a halt.

2. American Berserk - 1* The name is quite representative of what the listener can expect to hear. My least favorite track on this CD because of the ostentatious use of dissonances and the 'rudeness' of the discombobulated bass line. What this piano piece represents may be more valuable than how it sounds. The listener will judge for himself, however.

3. China Gates - 5* A wonderful display of ear-pleasing patterns that are transformed throughout by a periodic low bass response. The listener may feel a sense of the enigmatic when soaking in these harmonically pleasing phrases.

4.Hallelujah Junction - 4 1/2* What is wonderful in tracks 1 and 3 is brought back in track 4. Thickly layered in ambient and harmonically-rich notes, this piece is kept active by a consistently moving treble and a sublter bass line. There is a constant flurry of notes that is invested wealthily in John Adams' uniquely busy rhythmic style. The least interesting part comes a little less than halfway through the piece when a belligerent, though rhythmically consistent, bass line takes over. It is followed by a subtler part that is contrasted with a better bass line. Transformaton after transformation, this particular work peaks at about 12 minutes in with memorable phrasing and concrete (apparent) melodies that are transfused in changing and repeating harmonies. The very end is not as transluscent as the majority of the piece.

All in all, know the style of music you would like to listen to and/or would like experiment with. John Adams is a completely different kind of composer than the ones that wrote music 100, 200, or 300 years ago. It may take a maturer listener to really understand the nature of his music, or at the very least, his music may be less accessible than the easily-lovable classics. His music benefits from patience and an appreciation of patterns, if you have both, then the listening experiece is magnified to a great extent. Try this album even if you are ambivalent about it, the price is likely not to make much of an impact on your wallet/purse and you may find yourself a gem.
4.0 out of 5 stars THOUGHTFUL AND EXCITING 23 Jan 2014
By David Keymer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Almost anything released by Naxos is guaranteed to be worth listening to but this is an exceptionally pleasing album, both the compositions and the playing. Ralph van Raat plays on all four compositions, assisted by Maarten van Veen on the final piece, “Hallelujah Junction” (1996), which is a composition for two pianos.
7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American Master 20 Mar 2007
By Brian E. Burns - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a fine album. It is especially wonderful given its low price tag. Adams proves again and again that a composer can be innovative without completely sacrificing aesthetic awareness. The pianists play some tough rep quite well. Thank you to Naxos for continuing to put out intereting discs.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible 12 Oct 2008
By K. Schoeneman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Just discovered and Mr. Adams is a treat. If you are a fan of classical music, give this guy a try.
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Adams very well done 12 Jun 2007
By Richard E. Jensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I found the John Adams: Complete Piano Music to be very interesting and gives one a fine

appreciation for the music of John Adams. Would be a well worthwhile additon to your

CD library.
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