Adams: A Flowering Tree

Adams: A Flowering Tree

by John Adams

CD

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Product Details

Release Date: 09/23/2008
Label: Nonesuch
UPC: 0075597996517
catalogNumber: 327110
Rank: 77276

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Adams   Primary Artist,Conductor
London Symphony Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Jessica Rivera   Soprano (Vocal)
Schola Cantorum de Venezuela   Choir, Chorus,Ensemble
Russell Thomas   Tenor (Vocal)
Maria Guinand   Choir Director
Eric Owens   Baritone (Vocal),Brass Baritone
Russell Thomas   Tenor (Vocal)

Technical Credits

John Adams   Librettist,Composer
Robert Hurwitz   Executive Producer
Sarah Cahill   Liner Notes
Tobias Lehmann   Engineer
Peter Sellars   Librettist
Ronen Givony   Editorial Coordinator
A.K. Ramanujan   Text Translation

Customer Reviews

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Adams: A Flowering Tree 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Full of shimmering, almost halucinatory passages. Contemporary music sure isn't what it used to be!
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
John Adams continues to explore innovative musical ideas, tying them to political and philosophical themes, and has become America's favorite contemporary composer. His ability to communicate tremendously powerful responses from his audience with his 'enhanced minimalism' of style ('Nixon in China', 'The Death of Klinghoffer', 'Doctor Atomic' and 'El Nino' operas to works such as 'On the Transmigration of Souls, 'El Dorado', and 'Harmonium') makes him in integral part of our cultural fabric. FLOWERING TREE, beautifully recorded here in its entirety, adds another dimension to Adams' gifts - the translation of an Eastern Indian tale into an 'opera' that successfully recreates a myth while capturing the deep philosophical messages the myth holds as metaphor. The story is at once simple and complex: suffice it to say that it relates the tale of a young woman reaching puberty who is able to be transformed into a flowering tree, an act that fascinates a Prince who marries the low caste girl for her magic rather than for her person. Giving in to the desire of the Prince the girl advises the people of the court how to recreate the transformation and the Prince and the girl consummate their marriage and discover a profound mutual love. Jealousy within the court leads to the disruption of one of the transformation sequences and the girl is broken while a tree and becomes an armless, legless outcast begging in the streets with her lovely songs. The distraught Prince fades to near nothingness at the loss of his bride, wandering the world for his love until an act brings the two together and the metamorphosis is complete. The story is told by a narrator (Eric Owen) and the two other singing roles are sung by Jessica Rivera (the tree/girl Kumuhda) and Russell Thomas (the Prince). Each of these gifted singer actors is splendid: the opera is currently being presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic with John Adams conducting, assisted by the same three singers on this recording and by the Los Angeles Master Chorale all with the original staging by Peter Sellars and the shadow dancing by three brilliant Indonesian dancers. This work contains some of Adams' most richly colorful orchestration (the music from the large orchestra that paints the transformation of the girl into a tree and that portion that reunites the lovers glows with an erotic and sensuous radiance like no other of Adams' works). The singing is in English but the important choral contributions are sung in Spanish - Adams' confessed second language as a Californian but also a language that for him is more sensual and evocative than English. The combination of these forces is as magic as the tale they describe. John Adams has once again created a vital contemporary work, as rich in beauty of sound as it is in poignantly profound message. It is a little miracle of an opera. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp