• John Adams
  • The Chairman Dances: Foxtrot for Orchestra (1985)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)
  • 2(2pic).2.2(bcl).2/
  • 12 min
    • 14th April 2024, Philharmonie, Cologne, Germany
    • 14th April 2024, Die Glocke, Bremen, Germany
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Programme Note

Composer Note:

I started somewhat hazily working on the music, not knowing if it had the right tone, and pretty soon I realized it wouldn't work at all for the opera — it was a parody of what I imagined Chinese movie music of the '30s sounded like....[a] vast fantasy of a slightly ridiculous but irresistible image of a youthful Mao Tse Tung dancing the foxtrot with his mistress Chiang Ch'ing, former movie queen and the future Madame Mao, the mind and spirit behind the Cultural Revolution and the strident, unrehabilitated member of the Gang of Four.

Formally,The Chairman Dances is in three parts, A-B-A, with a persistent, chugging pulse in the basses marking the outer sections. Romance makes an appearance in the central, slower section.

— John Adams


The Chairman Dances (Foxtrot for Orchestra)