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Yuja Wang|John Adams: Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?

John Adams: Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?

Yuja Wang, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel

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There's nothing terribly new in John Adams' Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?, whose title the composer says he got from an old New Yorker article about Dorothy Day (it goes back to the world of Methodist hymnody in the 18th century), but the work is an excellent specimen of this composer's ability to appeal to a specific audience at a specific time, and it hits all the qualities that have made Adams such a favorite for so long. The work, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conductor Gustavo Dudamel, and premiered by the pianist here, the exuberant Yuja Wang, features motor rhythms, bits of popular influence, and a lyrical slow movement in which Adams says he was specifically influenced by Wang's sparkling style. The rhythms are goosed by an electric bass and a detuned "honky-tonk" piano, which aren't outwardly very apparent but make their presence felt; they are new and logical additions to Adams' arsenal. The result is a work that is a hell of a lot of fun, performed by probably its ideal interpreters, and what could be better than that? Other pianists are going to want a crack at this work. The online version of the album, released in the spring of 2020, ends with Adams' early China Gates, a lovely short work in the Steve Reich vein; a physical CD was delayed by the coronavirus epidemic but was promised for the future and is planned to contain additional pieces.
© TiVo

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John Adams: Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?

Yuja Wang

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Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? (John Adams)

1
I. Gritty, Funky, But in strict Tempo; Twitchy, Bot-Like
00:11:31

John Adams, Composer - Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestra, MainArtist - Gustavo Dudamel, Conductor, MainArtist - Yuja Wang, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dmitriy Lipay, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alexander Lipay, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

2
II. Much Slower; Gently, Relaxed
00:07:07

John Adams, Composer - Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestra, MainArtist - Gustavo Dudamel, Conductor, MainArtist - Yuja Wang, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dmitriy Lipay, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alexander Lipay, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

3
III. Piú mosso: Obsession / Swing
00:07:41

John Adams, Composer - Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestra, MainArtist - Gustavo Dudamel, Conductor, MainArtist - Yuja Wang, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dmitriy Lipay, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alexander Lipay, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

4
Adams: China Gates
00:04:38

John Adams, Composer - Yuja Wang, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dmitriy Lipay, Producer, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alexander Lipay, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Album Description

There's nothing terribly new in John Adams' Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?, whose title the composer says he got from an old New Yorker article about Dorothy Day (it goes back to the world of Methodist hymnody in the 18th century), but the work is an excellent specimen of this composer's ability to appeal to a specific audience at a specific time, and it hits all the qualities that have made Adams such a favorite for so long. The work, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conductor Gustavo Dudamel, and premiered by the pianist here, the exuberant Yuja Wang, features motor rhythms, bits of popular influence, and a lyrical slow movement in which Adams says he was specifically influenced by Wang's sparkling style. The rhythms are goosed by an electric bass and a detuned "honky-tonk" piano, which aren't outwardly very apparent but make their presence felt; they are new and logical additions to Adams' arsenal. The result is a work that is a hell of a lot of fun, performed by probably its ideal interpreters, and what could be better than that? Other pianists are going to want a crack at this work. The online version of the album, released in the spring of 2020, ends with Adams' early China Gates, a lovely short work in the Steve Reich vein; a physical CD was delayed by the coronavirus epidemic but was promised for the future and is planned to contain additional pieces.
© TiVo

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