counterfnord

Gigs, dance, art

March 27th, 2010: Asko|Schönberg Ensemble – John Adams

@cité de la musique

Second part of a doubleheader, with an opportunity to see John Adams conducting his own music. I wasn’t a big fan of his music coming in, though I do like it, and the performance didn’t change much about that. I’m glad I went because just seeing him conduct gave me hints about what to look for, but that insight will take a while unfolding.

Son of Chamber Symphony was my favorite piece of the show. I had never heard it before, but I instantly liked the interplay between the different parts. The program notes said it did get as far as the original Chamber Symphony in that respect, maybe that what made it accessible for an untrained ear like mine. It remained a little overwhelming, in that I know there was much more going on than I could grasp, but I liked it, and that’s enough for me.

Shaker Loops was the on I was familiar with, and that made it a downer of sorts. I’m so used to be dead wrong about this kind of music that I was expecting to get a new way of listening from seeing him conduct it. Didn’t happen, either because I got it right before — unlikely — or because I was too set in my ways to get a clue. It’s probably the latter, as the program notes told about water, while the image I still get from this music is more about wind through fields or grass.

Chamber Symphony was nice in its use of popular stuff that isn’t supposed to fit in “serious” music, especially the bass line in the middle part. I had heard it before, but the live performance is something else. This music is alive, and got even more so as the show went on. This performance would probably change how I perceive the music, but I’m not sure it will as I don’t own a recording of this one. And anyway I don’t think a recording could capture what made the performance so enjoyable, which owed a lot to Adams’ engagement.

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April 5, 2010 - Posted by | Music | , ,

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