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Customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

on 22 March 2017
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on 21 February 2017
Shaker Loops and the Busoni are superb. rest is crap.
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on 11 January 2017
CD case broken and sticks and repeats on a track of the CD
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 February 2011
If you want to dip your toe in the waters of John Adams style of minimalism, this is a very good and inexpensive place to start. Marin Alsop and the Bournemouth Symphony deliver splendid versions of four Adams pieces. 'Brief Ride in a Fast Machine' kicks off with its foot to the floor, and an insistent pulse, taking you on an exhilarating ride. 'The Wound-Dresser', settings of Whitman's poetry to music, is a wonderfully atmospheric, brooding piece, while the 'Berceuse' has all the gentle poignancy you might wish. However, the longest work here is 'Shaker Loops' at over twenty-five minutes, and is a thoroughly engaging and addictive performance with its spiralling themes, metronomic pulse and insistent repetition, yet full of colour despite these apparent restrictions.
I would acknowledge my fellow reviewer who trumpets the Warren-Green/London Chamber version of 'Shaker Loops'Minimalist /London Chamber Orchestra · Warren-Green as the finest available, as I also have this, but this Naxos version, though less magically ethereal, has a greater drive which gives it a different appeal. As I've also argued about some Arvo Part recordings on Naxos, these are two different interpretations: to reduce it to a crude 'what's best' does this impressive music a disservice.
Marin Alsop and the Bournemouth orchestra really engage with this music, so that it comes across as both vibrant and fresh, and wholly committed. The recording is also superb, one of Naxos best. This cd is also a strong Gramophone and Penguin Guide recommendation, as well as 'editor's choice' for Gramophone. A great introduction to John Adams.
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on 25 March 2005
There is nothing wrong with this recording: the focal work, 'Shaker Loops', is a seminal masterpiece of the twentieth-century, and the others are well-chosen too (especially the lesser-known 'The Wound Dresser', a moving and introspective setting of Whitman); the orchestra is technically very accomplished; and, as always with Naxos, the price is right. The problem is that a work like 'Shaker Loops' really deserves the best recording you can buy; and this rendition, put next to the best out there (I'm thinking of the LCO and Christopher Warren-Green on the 'Minimalist' CD, currently unavailable from Virgin Classics, but definitely worth tracking down), this version is just too bland and glassy.

'Shaker Loops' is a real attempt to move away from the polished, motoric anaemia which was beginning to characterise Minimalism (are you listening, Mr Glass?) to something far grittier and more emotional, and unless it's performed with that in mind it really loses a lot. Get this if you want 'The Wound Dresser', but if it's 'Shaker Loops' you're after, don't scrimp : go the whole hog and get a recording you'll treasure. I bought this one first, but I never listen to it now - I don't need to.
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