Absolute Jest, Grand Pianola Music

Absolute Jest, Grand Pianola Music


Michael Tilson Thomas
John Adams
San Francisco Symphony
St. Lawrence String Quartet
Orli Shaham
Marc-Andre Hamelin
Synergy Vocals

Release Date:

14th August 2015

Cat No:

AVSFS 0063


£15.99 (Hybrid SACD)


Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony join forces with America’s most-performed living composer, John Adams, in a colossal album featuring Adams’s Absolute Jest and Grand Pianola Music. Hear Adams’s inspired and witty take on Beethoven’s spirited scherzos in this first-ever recording of his SFS- commissioned Absolute Jest. Also featured is Grand Pianola Music, with its tongue-in-cheek allusions to Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, written for and premiered by the SFS. Both works speak to the deeply personal and vital relationship of some of the top musicians of our time: John Adams, MTT, and the SFS.


John Adams (b. 1947)
Absolute Jest (25:40)
St. Lawrence String Quartet
San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas
1. Beginning (10:35)
2. Presto (3:30)
3. Lo stesso tempo (1:07)
4. Meno mosso (3:18)
5. Vivacissimo (1:49)
6. Prestissimo (5:21)

Grand Pianola Music (31:54)
Orli Shaham and Marc-André Hamelin, piano
Synergy Vocals
San Francisco Symphony conducted by John Adams
7. Part 1 (15:23)
8. Part 1 – Slow (7:46)
9. Part 2, On the Dominant Divide (8:45)

Recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall, May 4, 5, and 9, 2013 (Absolute Jest) and January 16-18, 2015 (Grand Pianola Music)
Producer: Jack Vad

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