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Pavane 'She's so fine'

composer

 
The Alleged Dances were the next pieces written after the Violin Concerto, a complex work that took a full year to compose. The Concerto emboldened me to go further with string writing, and some of the techniques and gestures I’d touched on in it appeared again in the new string quartet, only in a less earnest guise. The ‘Book’ is a collection of ten dances, six of which are accompanied by a recorded percussion track made of prepared piano sounds. The prepared piano was, of course, the invention of John Cage, who first put erasers, nuts, bolts, and other damping objects in the strings of the grand piano, thereby transforming it into a kind of pygmy gamelan. In the original version of Alleged Dances the prepared piano sounds were organized as loops installed in an onstage sampler, and one of the quartet players triggered them on cue with a foot pedal. This made for a lot of suspense in the live performance—perhaps too much, as the potential for crash-and-burn was so high that Kronos eventually persuaded me to create a CD of the loops, a decision that allowed for significantly less anxiety during concerts.

The dances were ‘alleged’ because the steps for them had yet to be invented (although by now a number of choreographers, including Paul Taylor, have created pieces around them). The general tone is dry, droll and sardonic. Pavane ‘She’s so fine’ is one of the four movements played without the recorded percussion track.

from notes by John Adams © 2011

Recordings

Dance
Studio Master: SIGCD236Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

Details

Track 3 on SIGCD236 [6'39] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD236 track 3

Artists
ISRC
GB-LLH-11-23603
Duration
6'39
Recording date
1 January 2010
Recording venue
St Michael's Church, Highgate, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Alexander Van Ingen & Tim Oldham
Recording engineer
Andrew Mellor
Hyperion usage
  1. Dance (SIGCD236)
    Disc 1 Track 3
    Release date: February 2011
    Download only
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