The story of John Adams is a truly American one. Raised in Massachusetts and trained as a composer at Harvard, at the age of 24 he headed west to San Francisco in order to distance himself from his neo-European upbringing. Shaker Loops, written in the heyday of American minimalism, helped to earn him a place as one of the most famous living composers. It borrows the technique of looping fragments of melody from Steve Reich’s early tape experiments, and continues to be one of Adams’ most frequently performed works. Also included on this disc is Short Ride in a Fast Machine, four minutes ……….From Naxos
Having earned his composing stripes after the 1960s, John Adams had the pioneering work of Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and Terry Riley close at hand as he ventured into his trade. And, while minimalism's historical continuum helps place Adams, he used Reich, Glass, and Riley (among others) only as a starting point. And here's proof: a 10-CD retrospective of nearly all Adams's recorded compositions on Nonesuch Records, the label that also issued Steve Reich 1965-1995 and Kronos Quartet: 25 Years. Adams's Harmonium, a choral work of startling energy and effervescence, appears here in a new recording, as do distillations of both The Death of Klinghoffer and Nixon in China, two path-clearing operas.