Adams - Complete Piano Music

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Adams - Complete Piano Music



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Release date:

29th Jan 2007




51 minutes


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Adams - Complete Piano Music

Adams, J:

Phrygian Gates for solo piano

American Berserk (2001)

China Gates

Hallelujah Junction

Ralph van Raat (piano) with Maarten van Veen (piano)

“My aim will be forever to let the music of today sound to an audience in the best possible way, and to convince the people of the beauty and expressiveness of the music of their own living world.” Ralph van Raat


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John Adams: Phrygian Gates

Phrygian Gates

John Adams: American Berserk

American Berserk

John Adams: China Gates

China Gates

John Adams: Hallelujah Junction

Hallelujah Junction

BBC Music Magazine

July 2007


“…Phrygian Gates is a 25-minute movement of almost romantic scope and ambition, with genuinely expressive harmonies. Ralph Van Raat gives full weight to all that emotional potential, and he combines superbly with Maarten van Veen on Hallelujah Junction, the two-piano work from 1996 that shows how far Adams's music evolved in less than two decades.”

Gramophone Classical Music Guide


“China Gates and Phrygian Gates from 1977-78 show Adams defining his own style as opposed to the classical minimalists such as Riley, Reich and Glass. China Gates is under six minutes and consistently delicate, while Phrygian Gates is a blockbuster of nearly 25. In Phrygian Gates the repetition is constant but there are also abrupt dislocations which function like film cuts – or the electronic gate which is meant by these titles. The technique is the same in the larger concert works as well as the operas that have made Adams famous. There seems to be no obvious reason why one texture ends and another begins, but that's the point of the discontinuity – and it goes back to Satie and Stravinsky.
American Berserk (2000) is the most recent piece and both words in the title are justified.
From an early age Adams was surrounded by popular music and jazz on equal terms with classical composers. That background figures here with the crazier improvisational Ives and – very obviously – the swinging mechanical complexities of Conlon Nancarrow's studies for player piano. As in Grand Pianola Music, it's extravagantly entertaining.
In the exhilarating two-piano Hallelujah Junction (1996) Nancarrow again stands as godfather and you can hear the rhythmic hallelujahs as it belts on to its hilarious climax.
The Dutch pianists, cleanly recorded, deliver everything with consistent aplomb.”

International Piano

“The performances by Ralph van Raat…are a triumph of deceptiveness: that is, playing these pieces must require the utmost concentration as you count the bars past, avoid those little modifications to rhythm that a pianist will instinctively deploy to bring a performance alive, but van Raat obtains a near-hypnotic control in the two early pieces, almost mechanical in its reliability, and he bubbles with life in the later two”

New York Times

“[Mr. Adams] would surely like Mr. van Raat’s hard work and enthusiasm”

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