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Adams's Guide to Strange Places travels widely

(December 2001)

Adams's Guide to Strange Places travels widely

Amsterdam - London - Paris - Brussels - Washington - New York

John Adams’s newest orchestral work, Guide to Strange Places, is travelling widely following its highly successful premiere at the Matinee series in Amsterdam. The first performance was given on 6 October at the Concertgebouw by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic conducted by Edo de Waart. The BBC Symphony Orchestra gives the UK premiere on 20 January as part of the John's Earbox festival at the Barbican and then tours the new work to France and Belgium for concerts promoted by the Cité de la Musique in Paris and the Société Philharmonique de Bruxelles. The US premiere takes place in autumn 2002 with Leonard Slatkin conducting the National Symphony in Washington and it will be choreographed by Peter Martins for New York City Ballet in spring 2003.

"This twenty-five-minute roller-coaster ride can perhaps best be described as ‘Adams's Sacre’ - such overwhelming drive is usually only encountered in Stravinsky's music." Trouw (Amsterdam)

"...a sound-journey through intriguing territories, where canyon-deep contrabassoons are entwined with rarefied string melodies." De Telegraaf (Amsterdam)

Guide to Strange Places follows on from the oratorio El Niño in fusing the kinetic, minimalist style of Adams’s earlier works, with the complex polyrhythms and intricate shifting colour fields of much of his music from the 1990s. The score begins in the motoric open-top vein of Fearful Symmetries or Road Movies, but soon drives us towards darker and more ambivalent territory. Mountainous landscapes rear up as barriers against progress, and frightening chasms interrupt the journey, which becomes progressively more nightmarish until motion is halted by a threatening bass melody.

> Further information on Work: Guide to Strange Places

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