Home #Hwoodtimes The Diverse and Creative Versatility of John Adams and Timo Andres

The Diverse and Creative Versatility of John Adams and Timo Andres

John Adams Conducts The Los Angeles Philharmonic In A Diverse Array Of Compositions

At the Walt Disney Concert Hall, John Adams and Timo Andres revealed the diversity of creative expression in modern classical music with innovative new compositions.

By John Lavitt

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 03/30/24 – When most people think of classical music, they picture a genre limited to the works of European composers who have been dead for centuries. They believe classical music is a buried art form that is old-fashioned and done. However, nothing could be further from the truth. At the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the performance of new work by Timo Andres as composer and John Adams as conductor and composer felt like a dynamic revelation. Backed by the remarkably talented Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil), both composers opened new doors.

With the wide assortment of instruments, the possibilities of expression within the context of classical music are almost boundless. Moreover, classical musicians find the unique balance between paying respect when playing the work of other composers and innovating from their creative souls when writing new compositions. A perfect example of such a balance is the journey of American pianist and composer Timo Andres at the Walt Disney Concert Hall from March 19th to March 24th.

On March 19th, Timo Andres joined four other master pianists to take on the monumental challenge of playing Philip Glass’s Complete Piano Etudes. In an inspiring performance, Timo Andres gave life to Etudes 5, 6, 11, and 12, performing them with flair and empathy. Indeed, his performance would have made the legendary composer proud.

The World Premiere of Made of Tunes by Timo Andres

In the next series of performances, Timo Andres watched as John Adams conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the world premiere of an LA Phil commission with generous support from Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting. With Aaron Diehl on piano, Made of Tunes was nothing less than a triumph. The piece’s title provides insight into its creations. When Timo Andres perceives the world, he beholds a dynamic landscape of musical expression.

Indeed, the vibrant musical shifts in Made of Tunes required the participation of nearly the entire LA Phil. As if you were walking through an urban landscape with Timo Andres, you experienced what he perceives musically. At times, the bustling, noisy machinations of modernity are almost overwhelming. In other moments, there is humanity’s soft, elegant poetry like a lighthouse driven to distraction by such chaos.

Still, in the stillness of grace, what is human struggles to remain whole amidst the entropic powers of post-industrialism society. In such a world, everything functions as a manipulation of desire and need. The most significant question is whether we can distinguish between these competing impulses. In Made of Tunes, the playing of Aaron Diehl on the foregrounded piano felt in key symphonic moments like humanity battling against the overwhelming force of the rest of the orchestra.

In City Noir by John Adams, such questions are not asked because they are not part of traditional film noir. Instead, in the exciting and pulse-pounding composition, the audience experiences the suspense and danger that make film noir movies so enduring and pure. John Adams’s love for the classic film genre was a resounding exclamation.

John Adams created a very entertaining composition by expertly using the horns and drums to create a pounding beat of emotional intensity. In the future, one imagines City Noir being used as the backing soundtrack for classic film noir masterpieces like The Maltese Falcon or Double Indemnity. Indeed, the original directors would appreciate such a score.

Pictures courtesy of the LA Phil