July 2, 2011 12:47 am

John Adams: Son of Chamber Symphony, String Quartet

John Adams

Son of Chamber Symphony, String Quartet

International Contemporary Ensemble, St Lawrence String Quartet


3 stars

In Son of Chamber Symphony (2007), two scherzo-like outer movements frame a centrepiece that manages to be both calm and upbeat. John Adams challenges his 15 players to feats of technical virtuosity but seems to be treading all-too-familiar ground.

Much more successful is String Quartet (2008), a powerful homage to classical form in Adams’ most sensitive vein. Excellent performances.

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