Considering this is a live performance, the sound has been captured very well and the balance across the orchestra is very good too. I bought this album because I am building up my collection of music by John Adams. His work featured in this live performance isn't necessarily one of my favourites, but I am trying to be as complete as possible in my collection. I find the sound of the electric violin a bit too much to listen to for long periods so ... It's just personal taste. I like his other (acoustic) violin concerto though (available on another album). Anyway, the unexpected bonus for me is the Timpani Concerto by Kraft. I had never heard it nor heard of it until this recording and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's one that I will come back to again I'm sure.
Others have mentioned this is a live recording. On the first couple of listens I thought the audience and background noise were a little more intrusive than I liked. However I've now come to enjoy the real life feeling of a genuine concert taking place around me as I listen. None of the music is what might be called 'easy' - there are no obvious sweeping melodies. But all the works here are very rewarding and satisfying. Individually they have clear identities and characteristics of their composers. Taken together they do form a very good program of music. It does really hang together as an overall performance. Although my personal favourite is the Adams, I find I don't listen to only one piece on each occasion I play this recording. Settle down, mentally enter the concert hall, and let the next 70 minutes of well-recorded well-performed music-making take you away to Los Angeles. Finally this is exceptionally good value for money. At this level, even those of you who feel wary of 'new' orchestral music can easily afford to invest and experiment, listen and learn, and make your mind up. I do urge as many of you as possible to take the opportunity.
Not all Adams orchestral pieces make a strong impression with me, but The Dharma at Big Sur does, probably because of the unusual scoring and off-beat influences. I actually find it more interesting than his more familiar (conventional) Violin Concerto but that's no doubt my problem, not the composer's.
This is a recording of a live concert by the LAPO but the sound is very good. Full marks to DG for including a digital booklet in the download - very useful or even essential for unfamiliar music such as this.
I rate this 4* rather than 5* only because you acquire the concert, including Kraft and Rosenman, not just Adams. To be fair, this is imaginative programming and the other music is also well worth hearing - last time I remember coming across anything by Kraft was on an LP recording made (LAPO again?) in the early 1970s.
Given the very low price, don't hesitate if you want to hear the Adams piece.
This seems such an obvious idea that it is remarkable that it is not done more often. It is a decent recording of a well put together concert, complete with a digital programme for your perusal. The programme is around a Los Angeles theme, with the initial Timpani Concerto possibly being the strongest, but the Rosenman music for the Nic Ray film Rebel Without a Cause starts off rather conventional before becoming more atonal, as befitting someone who studied with Schoenberg, and finally the Adams pieces are a decent addition to anyone's collection of his works.
Currently on offer at under two pounds this is a must purchase, but even at a fuller price would be well worth considering. The recording is rich and full, with a sense of joy, such that it seems entirely fitting when a piece closes and you hear lengthy applause. This is a chance to enjoy some inspired programming and live performances from the comfort of your home.
I tried to download this item. I have been billed for this item. BUT I do not have this item. There was no problem with the download as it did not happen. It's probably good that it was not expensive...ho hum
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