Composer: John Adams
Performer: Yuja Wang
Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Gustavo Dudamel
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 612 MB
Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?
01. I. Gritty, Funky, But in strict Tempo; Twitchy, Bot-Like
02. II. Much Slower; Gently, Relaxed
03. III. Piú mosso: Obsession / Swing
04. China Gates
The solo part – written especially for Wang – it’s the pianist as perfectly as her infamous bodycon dresses. Her flawless technique is ideally suited to the frequent high-octane, galloping passages…Packed full of ear-worms (the simple melody and its improvisatory-like variations in the third section are devastatingly catchy), this work lives up to its title. Adams’s Reichian solo piano piece China Gates (1977) brings stillness after the fiendish excitement.
There are features in common with the composer’s previous works in the form but gone is the sheen and broad, universal world view of Century Rolls. This is music that doesn’t get too comfortable in its own skin – or even in its own time signature…Wang and Dudamel make for ideal rival racing drivers. If Wang’s China Gates might not have the horizon focus of some other versions, her power, rhythmic fortitude and sense of fun put a rocket under the concerto.