The John Adams Reader: Essential Writings on an American Composer

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(Amadeus). The John Adams Reader: Essential Writings on an American Composer gathers a colorful and wide-ranging selection of pieces from leading musical commentators and critics. Included are revealing interviews with the composer as well as eloquent essays by Ingram Marshall, Michael Steinberg, Alex Ross, Sarah Cahill, Alan Rich, and many others. Editor Thomas May has grouped this collection into four sections: profiles of the artist (including a fascinating memory piece from Ingram Marshall on Adams's early San Francisco years), detailed essays on the major works, interviews with some leading collaborators and interpreters, and critical reception. This reader should be of use both as an introduction for the general reader to a preeminently significant American artist and as a reference for the more serious student or scholar.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574671322
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
  • Publication date: 6/15/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 455
  • Sales rank: 1,555,064
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Table of Contents

John Adams reflects on his career 2
The harmonist 29
On top, but ever the risk-taker 45
Composer captures essence of today 53
Voice of America : composer John Adams speaks for the nation 59
Life as music : John Adams goes public 63
Ingram Marshall on the early years in San Francisco 67
Shaker loops (1978; revised 1983) 74
Harmonium for large orchestra and chorus (1980-81) 80
Grand pianola music (1982) 89
Light over water : the genesis of a music (1983) 91
Harmonielehre (1984-85) 101
The chairman dances (1985) 106
Short ride in a fast machine (1986) 108
Nixon in China (1985-87) 110
Fearful symmetries and the wound-dresser (1988) 120
The death of Klinghoffer (1990-91) 127
El Dorado (1991) 143
Chamber symphony (1992) 149
Violin concerto (1993) 151
Gnarly buttons (1996) 158
Century rolls (1996) 160
Naive and sentimental music : a sentimental journey (1997-98) 163
El Nino : a nativity oratorio (1999-2000) 171
John Adams on El Nino and vernacular elements 183
Memory spaces (on the transmigration of souls) (2002) 189
John Adams discusses on the transmigration of souls 196
My father knew Charles Ives (2003) 205
The dharma at Big Sur (2003) 209
John Adams on Doctor Atomic (2004-05) 219
Creating contexts : Peter Sellars on working with Adams 238
Breaking taboos (portrait of Alice Goodman) 249
Robert Spano on conducting the music of Adams 258
John Adams on conducting Ives 264
Emanuel Ax on performing Adams's piano concerto 271
Dawn Upshaw on singing in El Nino 276
Early works 282
Mischief (grand pianola music) 286
Nixon in China 288
Nixon in China 294
The Klinghoffer debate 299
From an episode of terrorism, Adams's death of Klinghoffer 313
Seeking symmetry between Palestinians and Jews 317
Seeking answers in an opera 321
Dept. of raw nerves : hijack opera scuttled 328
Music's dangers and the case for control 331
Born again (film of The death of Klinghoffer) 340
Something to say (violin concerto) 343
I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky 345
Adams, Sellars think smaller in new opera (I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky) 350
Adams's twentieth century rolls - and rocks (century rolls) 355
Bigger proves better in Adams's grandiose world (naive and sentimental music) 359
Rebirth of a savior in El Nino 362
Washed in the sound of souls in transit (on the transmigration of souls) 365
The art of 9/11 368
Symphony premieres Adams's splendid Ives 376
History's unholy trinity (Doctor Atomic) 379
Learning to love the bomb (Doctor Atomic) 382
Aspects of John Adams's music : floating elegies and music boxes 386
App. A "Rumor scene" from the death of Klinghoffer 397
App. B Synopsis : I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky 407
App. C Synopsis : Doctor Atomic 413
App. D The complete works of John Adams 419
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2006

    A fine detailed, in-depth approach to Adams' works and perspective

    Thomas May's The John Adams Reader: Essential Writings On An American Composer provides music library holdings with essays by leading musical critics who examine the popular living classical American composer's works, direction, and influences. These are interviews and critical assessments alike, including Mr. May's interview with John Adams and a piece on Adams' early days in San Francisco. The blend of interviews with scholarly assessments allows for a fine detailed, in-depth approach to Adams' works and perspective and is a â¿¿must' for any serious classical music library.

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