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  • Monday, September 14, 2009
    John Adams's "Guide to Strange Places" Named "Song of the Day" by Jazz.com

    John Adams's most recent Nonesuch release, the first recording of 2007's Doctor Atomic Symphony by the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and conductor David Robertson, also features the orchestra in the first recording of Adams's 2001 piece Guide to Strange Places.

    Jazz.com names the latter piece today's Song of the Day. The site rates the work a 95, with reviewer Ted Gioia praising the work's "psychological exploration that taps into deeper currents than one usually finds in the minimalist playbook." Says Gioia:

    This is the composer at his most mature, and demonstrating an uncanny skill in channeling his personality through a symphony orchestra. The result may be a guide to strange places, but they are also the same ones that we inhabit everyday.

    Read the full review at jazz.com.

    ---

    The Stranger's Christopher DeLaurenti calls Guide to Strange Places his "favorite orchestral work of this decade." In an article about David Robertson, DeLaurenti says the new album shows that the conductor and the orchestra "as virtuosic advocates for the rhythmically tensile music of composer John Adams." Read more at thestranger.com.

    ---

    The Philadelphia Inquirer calls the piece "clean, clear, empathetic and spirited" and gives the album itself three-and-a-half stars. The album's title piece, Doctor Atomic Symphony, while based on the music of Adams's 2005 opera, Doctor Atomic, "stands on its own, thanks to the piece's sturdy sense of symphonic integration," writes reviewer David Patrick Stearns. What's more, in Adams's symphonic distillation, "the music reveals much that's easily overlooked in the opera—a trumpet solo here, a fascinating cross-rhythm there." Read more at philly.com.

    ---

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette gives the album an A-, with reviewer Ellis Widner concluding of the title piece: "This very strong work is given a stellar performance." Widner commends the orchestra, which "skillfully brings the emotion, the fears and angst associated with the work of J. Robert Oppenheimer and his colleagues to life as they tread into the scientific unknown with a mix of fascination, trepidation and determination." Read more by logging on at www2.arkansasonline.com.

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John Adams's "Guide to Strange Places" Named "Song of the Day" by Jazz.com

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on September 14, 2009 - 1:50pm
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Monday, September 14, 2009 - 16:00
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John Adams's recent Nonesuch release features the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and conductor David Robertson performing the first recordings of Adams's Doctor Atomic Symphony and Guide to Strange Places. Jazz.com names the latter today's Song of the Day, saying: "This is the composer at his most mature, and demonstrating an uncanny skill in channeling his personality through a symphony orchestra." The Stranger's Christopher DeLaurenti calls it his "favorite orchestral work of this decade." The Philadelphia Inquirer gives the album 3.5 stars; the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, an A-.

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John Adams's most recent Nonesuch release, the first recording of 2007's Doctor Atomic Symphony by the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and conductor David Robertson, also features the orchestra in the first recording of Adams's 2001 piece Guide to Strange Places.

Jazz.com names the latter piece today's Song of the Day. The site rates the work a 95, with reviewer Ted Gioia praising the work's "psychological exploration that taps into deeper currents than one usually finds in the minimalist playbook." Says Gioia:

This is the composer at his most mature, and demonstrating an uncanny skill in channeling his personality through a symphony orchestra. The result may be a guide to strange places, but they are also the same ones that we inhabit everyday.

Read the full review at jazz.com.

---

The Stranger's Christopher DeLaurenti calls Guide to Strange Places his "favorite orchestral work of this decade." In an article about David Robertson, DeLaurenti says the new album shows that the conductor and the orchestra "as virtuosic advocates for the rhythmically tensile music of composer John Adams." Read more at thestranger.com.

---

The Philadelphia Inquirer calls the piece "clean, clear, empathetic and spirited" and gives the album itself three-and-a-half stars. The album's title piece, Doctor Atomic Symphony, while based on the music of Adams's 2005 opera, Doctor Atomic, "stands on its own, thanks to the piece's sturdy sense of symphonic integration," writes reviewer David Patrick Stearns. What's more, in Adams's symphonic distillation, "the music reveals much that's easily overlooked in the opera—a trumpet solo here, a fascinating cross-rhythm there." Read more at philly.com.

---

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette gives the album an A-, with reviewer Ellis Widner concluding of the title piece: "This very strong work is given a stellar performance." Widner commends the orchestra, which "skillfully brings the emotion, the fears and angst associated with the work of J. Robert Oppenheimer and his colleagues to life as they tread into the scientific unknown with a mix of fascination, trepidation and determination." Read more by logging on at www2.arkansasonline.com.

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John Adams "Doctor Atomic" Symphony [cover]

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