Adams: Harmonium, Klinghoffer Choruses

Adams: Harmonium, Klinghoffer Choruses

by London Opera Chorus
     
 

Harmonium (1980) announced to the world that John Adams was not your average minimalist. Pulsing rhythms and melodic repetitions notwithstanding, this was music that built up to fill an enormous symphonic canvas; by the composer's own admission, it owed as much to Beethoven as to Philip Glass. A chorus sings settings of John Donne and Emily Dickinson poems,See more details below

Overview

Harmonium (1980) announced to the world that John Adams was not your average minimalist. Pulsing rhythms and melodic repetitions notwithstanding, this was music that built up to fill an enormous symphonic canvas; by the composer's own admission, it owed as much to Beethoven as to Philip Glass. A chorus sings settings of John Donne and Emily Dickinson poems, both introspective and ecstatic, and the orchestra drives them on to shattering climaxes. Originally released in Nonesuch's brilliant ten-CD Adams retrospective, Earbox, this recording with the composer conducting the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus is now available for the first time separately. Although an earlier recording with the same orchestra led by Edo de Waart may create a more awesome initial sense of mystery as sound emerges from the void, Adams's new version is sonically and musically impeccable. Tipping the balance, the premiere recording, just over a half-hour long, has a full-priced CD to itself; here a group of seven choruses from Adams's opera "The Death of Klinghoffer" (1990-91) fills out the program. Taken from Kent Nagano's recording of the complete opera (based on the Achille Lauro hijacking), these excerpts are often as direct and simple as a Bach chorale. As a suite of choral interludes, they don't have the cumulative dramatic impact of "Harmonium," but they provide a fascinating glimpse of how Adams -- a minimalist for people who hate minimalism (and those who love it) -- evolved over the following decade.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/20/2000
Label:
Nonesuch
UPC:
0075597954920
catalogNumber:
79549

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Harmonium, for chorus & orchestra  - John Adams  - John Adams  - John Donne  - Vance George  - Robert Hurwitz  -  San Francisco Symphony Chorus  -  San Francisco Symphony
  2. Choruses from "The Death of Klinghoffer", for chorus  - John Adams  - Richard Cooke  - Alice Goodman  - Robert Hurwitz  -  London Opera Chorus  -  Lyon National Opera Orchestra

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