August 18, 2015
Michael Tilson Thomas and San Francisco Symphony release John Adams recording
The San Francisco Symphony performs John Adams’ Absolute Jest, led by Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, and Grand Pianola Music, led by Adams, on its latest album release.
Written three decades apart, both works were composed specifically for the San Francisco Symphony by Adams, who has been one of the orchestra’s most important artistic partners. The St. Lawrence String Quartet, pianists Marc-André Hamelin and Orli Shaham, and vocal group Synergy Vocals join MTT and the orchestra.
“The San Francisco Symphony has had the tremendous good fortune of collaborating with John Adams over many decades,” says MTT. “Absolute Jest is one of my favorite John Adams pieces and the playing of the St. Lawrence String Quartet and the orchestra is an absolute delight.”
The release will be available as a hybrid SACD compatible with conventional CD players, and as a digital download — including as high-resolution 24-bit downloads — and on all major streaming services.
The New World Symphony has performed both of these works. John Adams himself conducted Grand Pianola Music at the New Music concert of December 11, 1999. He repeated the same concert, guest conducting at our concert for the American Mavericks Festival in San Francisco at Davies Symphony Hall, on June 21, 2000. Synergy was in that performance as well.
Absolute Jest was performed in our New Music concert of December 1, 2012, for the Sounds of the Times Series. Adams was again on the podium, and St. Lawrence String Quartet were the guest artists for the piece.
Additionally, Orli Shaham has performed with NWS on a number of occasions, and Marc-André Hamelin participated in our John Cage Festival in 2013.