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Road Movies / Hallelujah Junction / Phrygian Gates

J. Adams Audio CD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Price: $13.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2005 $9.49  
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Road Movies / Hallelujah Junction / Phrygian Gates + John Adams: The Dharma at Big Sur/My Father Knew Charles Ives
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 22, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Black Box Classics
  • ASIN: B0007KIFTG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,251 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Phrygian Gates
2. Hallelujah Junction
3. China Gates
4. I. - Relaxed Groove
5. II. Meditative
6. III. 40% Swing

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So SImple and Yet so Complex May 13, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I was first introduced to John Adams by my daughter's 15 year- old boyfriend, who is a real fan, and I fell in love with "Century Rolls" and "Shaker Loops." I ending up collecting just about all of his work, and have become a real fan myself. I sent a bunch of friends some of his CD's for Christmas, and one of them sent me word that his new CD was out. I ordered it right away, because I was anxious to hear "China Gates." Wow. A must-have for fans of minimalism, but also makes for great meditation music, as I found that the repetition of harmonic phrases causes the brain to seek alternate pathways.There is a light-heartedness to his composition, yet the cerebral elements are there as well, so it is music that both arrives and departs from traditional minimalism, enough so that the listener is captivated, wondering where the music is going. Buy it!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great composer with all his influences showing May 21, 2004
Format:Audio CD
What I've come to love about John Adams is the way he borrows from everybody and everything. In many ways, he's the epitome of the Post-Modern composer, because he boldly appropriates other styles and idioms and finds a way to make them his own. This new CD is a prime example of how Adams uses the old to make new. "Road Movies" is clearly the work of John Adams, but the second movement resonates so close to the 2nd movement of the Copland violin sonata that it gives me the shakes. This isn't just a quote or rip-off, but a work that honors a powerful precedent: it's almost a love song to its predecessor. "American Berserk" evokes an array of composers that Adams clearly loves, especially Nancarrow and Ives. "Hallelujah Junction" is a genuinely great tune, with inflections of Gospel and Rock piano playing thrown in to make it tasty. And while this makes my third recording of "Phrygian Gates," I can't complain, as I think it's probably the best work for piano written in the last 25 years. None of these works are "easy" to play, and they're given dynamic performances and crisp recordings, making this CD a unique pleasure.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Silly reviewers! Historical Adams June 13, 2006
Format:Audio CD
What we have here is a hodgepodge of old and (one) new material for piano. "China Gates" and "Phrygian Gates" is actually considered to be Adam's Opus 1, so to find out that his very first mature work does not resound with the same punctuation and feeling that previously works have, like "Harmonielehre" or even the recently released "Naive and Sentimental Music," does not mean that Adams is in anyway losing his "touch" or is begin lose his creative spark. Instead, these two pieces should be listened to and enjoyed for what they represent in terms of John Adams' historical work, or the work which has gotten him to where he is today.

Similarly, "Road Movies" was composed in 1995, "Hallelujah Junction" was composed in 1996, and the newest work, "American Berzerk" was composed in 2003. "Road Movies" is actually a very soothing, contemplative work, but (true) does contain the same expressiveness felt in other works of art by Adams. "Hallelujah Junction" may be the most disappointing piece on the album, but I'm not sure that it's supposed to be taken as seriously as some Adams' fans would like to take it - such as on the level with "On The Transmigration of Souls" or "The Death of Klinghoffer." Adams himself acknowledged that "Hallelujah Junction" is the name of a truck stop on US 395 and that "it was a case of a good title needing a piece, so I obliged by composing this work for two pianos."

No, this isn't Adams' best work, but I definitely think that it surely lives up to his other greatest attempts. Plus, as an album containing solely works composed by Adams for the piano and not for orchestra, this is a nice breather and definitely an excellent addition to one's collection of piano music or for fans of Adams himself.
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