glass notes
Symphony No.9 West Coast Premiere & CD Release/Cello Concerto No.2 Wrap-Up

On Cello Concerto No.2: "Haunting and deeply beautiful, it is a concerto for our time."  Read the Review Here.

Next up, this week's West Coast Premiere performances of Symphony No.9 in Los Angeles at Disney Concert Hall with the LA Philharmonic under the direction of John Adams

I had the occasion and privilege of hearing the piece at Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra under Davies in January, as well as co-producing the OMM recording.  I can't wait to hear what the LA Phil, with its particular skills and sensibilities brings to the piece.  I can be said also that John Adams knows a thing or two about this type of music.
I'll do my best to report from the road.  Thursday looks pretty sold out.  Word is Glass will taking a detour from his current tour and will be attending Friday's performance.  The CD of Symphony No.9 will be released a week from tomorrow on April 10 at Amazon, though for those attending the performances, copies will be available at the LA Phil Store in Disney Hall.

3 thoughts on “Symphony No.9 West Coast Premiere & CD Release/Cello Concerto No.2 Wrap-Up”

  1. Hi All,
    What did I think of John Adams conducting?
    I had heard him conduct his own works in the past and I had developed the opinion that as a conductor he was in line with the other composer/conductors of the past like Copland, Britten, and Stravinsky: composers who could competently conduct their own music but not necessarily the music of others. This tradition of course excludes the great masters Bernstein and Mahler.
    I attended the first two of three concerts. The first night was not so good. The orchestra had moments of being almost totally lost. With that said, orchestras barely get one rehearsal – maybe two – to take on a new piece. In the case of this Glass symphony, it is almost 53 minutes long. Thats a lot of unfamiliar music for an orchestra to swallow and digest. Adams made mention of this in the preconcert talk when he said that unless you were one of the tens of thousands of people who downloaded the Ninth, that you had no idea what you were about to hear or play. So he has them play it through just to get a sense of the shape and then spends the rest of the time on transitions.
    The first performance was an anticipated rocky affair. However, I must say that the second night was just great. The orchestra, like all the other first class ensembles, might not have had it the first night, but they certainly had internalized the music on the second. Adams was mostly on the ball for the whole time both nights that I was there. Interpretively, his was clean and straight forward approach, just as Davies was. Again, the second night, which featured the true grand orchestra for which this music was written, was a wonderful experience.
    Adams is a good interpreter of his own music and is a more than just a competent conductor and Glass was very pleased. If theres one criticism to be leveled at him, its probably that he doesnt exude that ridiculous amount of confidence and mastery from the podium, the kind that the great maestros demand. Riccardo Muti steps on the podium and everyone in the crowd and the orchestra stares at him in rapt attention. But he had memorized the music and conducted with authority. With all the above said, Glass was very lucky and privileged to have the treatment he got in LA, and he was lucky to have such an excellent musician as Adams on his side.

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