There’s a rather oversized hint of an elephant in the room in the fanciful cover art for the world premiere recording of Absolute Jest by John Adams. His name is Ludwig van Beethoven.
Recorded live at San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall in 2013, Absolute Jest, written in 2012, features the San Francisco Symphony led by Michael Tilson Thomas, along with the St. Lawrence String Quartet. The second piece, Grand Pianola Music, from 1982, was conducted by Adams himself earlier this year. Both are fascinating examples of a contemporary artist’s absorption of classical themes into a modern vernacular that is imaginative, witty – and original.
Read the full review at Blogcritics.org