Adams, J: Shaker Loops – Work No. 98 in our collection

John Adams (born 15.02.1947) is an American composer and conductor of classical music and opera, with strong roots in minimalism. He is one of the best known and most often performed of America’s composers. His creative output spans a wide range of media: works for orchestra, opera, video, film, and dance, as well as electronic and instrumental music. Such pieces as Harmonium, Harmonielehre, The Chairman Dances and Shaker Loops are among the best known and most frequently performed of contemporary American music.

Shaker Loops is a 1978 composition that was originally written for string septet. A version for string orchestra followed in 1983 and the latter was first performed in April of that year at Alice Tully Hall, New York, by the American Composers Orchestra conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. It is a work is in four movements.

      1. Shaking and Trembling
      2. Hymning Slews
      3. Loops and Verses
      4. A Final Shaking

    1. Sections of Shaker Loops have been used in films; Barfly and I Am Love as well as in the video game Civilization IV.There are number of good recordings of this work including those by Marin Alsop with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Edo de Waart with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and our chosen version by Christopher Warren-Green with the London Chamber Orchestra. We have chosen this version not only because it is one of the best but also because it contains fine performances of further minimalist works by Steve Reich and Philip Glass.
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