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  • http://www.nonesuch.com/journal/ny-times-book-review-john-adamss-wry-smart-forthright-memoir-among-most-readably-incisive-of
    October 27, 2008|0 comments

    Hallelujah Junction, the two-disc collection of select tracks by John Adams, earns four stars in The Independent. The composer's "charming and illuminating memoir" of the same name, says the New York Times Sunday Book Review, "is a cogent account of its author’s escape from the world of ­audience-alienating 'process' music absorbed with its own making and his arrival at a place where intellectual adventurism and robust emotion coexist ... There is no more self-aggrandizement in this wry, smart and forthright memoir than there is in the venturesome but elegiac music of Adams’s maturity. Indeed, Hallelujah Junction stands with books by Hector Berlioz and Louis Armstrong among the most readably incisive autobiographies of major musical figures."

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  • http://www.nonesuch.com/journal/new-york-magazine-adams-has-written-his-finest-work-with-doctor-atomic

    John Adams profile

    October 21, 2008|0 comments

    John Adams's 2005 opera Doctor Atomic received its Met premiere last week. The opera tells the story of the creation of the atomic bomb and the man behind it, J. Robert Oppenheimer. New York magazine says that "Adams has written his finest work" with this "darkly riveting" opera and its "score of microscopic clarity and panoramic sweep." The Star-Ledger praises conductor Alan Gilbert, who "led a performance of precision and expressiveness, bringing the score's harmonic piquancy, metrical complexity, and textural detail together as a visceral rush." The Washington Post says one of the opera's "moments of rich beauty" is the duet between Oppenheimer and his wife, in which "the score is so purely gorgeous it could make you cry."

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  • http://www.nonesuch.com/journal/boston-globe-john-adamss-doctor-atomic-hauntingly-powerful-deeply-humane-and-eloquent
    October 17, 2008|0 comments

    With this week's Met premiere of John Adams's 2005 opera Doctor Atomic, the Boston Globe calls the work "a hauntingly powerful, deeply humane and eloquent work" and praises Adams's score as "some of his most compelling and imaginative music to date," one that "weds a cool Stravinskian precision and rhythmic vitality with a kind of seething Wagnerian dread." The Philadelphia Inquirer calls it "a profound musical and moral journey" in which the composer "surpasses his considerable self ..." The opera and its premiere are the focus of today's episode of WNYC's Soundcheck.

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  • http://www.nonesuch.com/journal/ny-times-doctor-atomic-with-john-adamss-most-complex-and-masterly-music-premieres-at-the-met

    John Adams profile

    October 16, 2008|0 comments

    John Adams made his Met debut Monday night with the opening of the new production of his 2005 opera Doctor Atomic. "This score continues to impress me as Mr. Adams’s most complex and masterly music," exclaims the New York Times's Anthony Tomassini. "Whole stretches of the orchestral writing tremble with grainy colors, misty sonorities and textural density." The Associated Press calls it an "intense and fascinating" work, in which "Adams has created a score filled with color, syncopation and lush interludes." Newsweek calls the production "stunning," the score "lyrical, romantic, Wagnerian by turns." Also, Bloomberg calls the composer's newest opera, A Flowering Tree, "Adams's most ravishing creation to date," and Slate finds his new memoir "gripping."

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  • http://www.nonesuch.com/journal/john-adams-makes-met-debut-tonight-with-ny-premiere-of-doctor-atomic
    October 13, 2008|0 comments

    John Adams makes his Met Opera debut tonight with the New York premiere of his opera Doctor Atomic. The New Yorker calls it "a striking example of the new Met’s range." New York Philharmonic Music Director Designate Alan Gilbert conducts, in his company debut. Gerald Finley reprises his role as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, and tells the New York Times: "The strength of Doctor Atomic is the layered subtext. Each character has many agendas to get through. It’s very refreshing to reveal aspects that haven’t been seen." Director Penny Woolcock tells The Financial Times: "John's music grows out of the finest lyrical tradition of operatic composition but it is part of the 20th and 21st centuries ... I can hear bits of Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix and the rhythms of today."

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  • http://www.nonesuch.com/journal/la-times-john-adams-is-the-voice-of-america
    October 09, 2008|0 comments

    "John Adams is the voice of America," asserts Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed in his review of Adams's new memoir, Hallelujah Junction. "His instrumental music," Swed explains, "and particularly that for the orchestra, conveys the American experience broadly." The review goes on to examine the biography and works Adams addresses in the memoir, including his operas Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, and Doctor Atomic, which Swed calls "an essential part of the American discussion." The book, he concludes, "offers the voice of America straight from the horse's mouth, and to read something so intelligent, reasoned and caring sure feels good these days."

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  • http://www.nonesuch.com/journal/ny-times-john-adamss-absorbing-memoir-examines-his-lush-and-austere-grand-and-precise-music
    October 08, 2008|0 comments

    John Adams's new memoir, Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life, is an "absorbing book," says the New York Times, "which at times reads like a quest narrative that travels through the whole landscape of 20th-century music." Adams has created a "particularly American" sound, reads the review. "His music is both lush and austere, grand and precise. To make an analogy to two poets whose work he has set to music, it’s Walt Whitman on the one hand and Emily Dickinson on the other." The "soundtrack" to the book is available in the companion Nonesuch retrospective, also available now.

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  • http://www.nonesuch.com/journal/john-adams-news-and-events-this-week

    John Adams profile

    October 06, 2008|0 comments

    Tonight at the 92nd Street Y in New York City: The Composer's Voice: John Adams. John Adams will talk with Juilliard dean Ara Guzelimian about his career; his opera Doctor Atomic, which receives its New York premiere at the Met next week; and his new memoir, Hallelujah Junction, just published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. The program also features "musical illustrations" by mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, baritone Jordan Shanahan, and pianist Linda Hall.

  • http://www.nonesuch.com/journal/nonesuch-collaborators-among-macarthur-grant-recipients
    September 23, 2008|0 comments

    The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced this year's recipients of its annual fellowship, often referred to as the "Genius" grant. Dawn Upshaw was named a Fellow last year. Among this year's recipients are violinist Leila Josefowicz, who performs John Adams's Road Movies on the piece's 2004 Nonesuch recording; Walter Kitundu, Kronos Quartet's instrument builder in residence; writer Alex Ross, who will interview Upshaw at the upcoming New Yorker Festival; and SFJAZZ Collective saxophonist Miguel Zenón, who appears on the group's two Nonesuch albums.

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  • http://www.nonesuch.com/journal/new-statesman-with-a-flowering-tree-adamss-musical-fertility-still-springs-anew

    John Adams profile

    September 18, 2008|4 comments

    John Adams's latest opera, A Flowering Tree, receives its first recording with the Nonesuch release out Tuesday, followed by Hallelujah Junction, a two-CD Adams retrospective and memoirs of the same name. "Adams's sound-world is still expanding," writes The New Statesman. "In this, the composer's seventh decade, his musical fertility still springs anew." Pitchfork gives A Flowering Tree an 8.4, asserting: "There are few living American composers writing works as universal and relevant as John Adams—and that deserves everybody's attention." The Telegraph, in its review of the forthcoming book, declares: "A musician's memoir would probably not be your first choice for light reading, but make an exception for Hallelujah Junction."

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