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El Dorado

  • 79359

News & Reviews

  • "It would be difficult to make an account of all the ways John Adams’s music has influenced me and my work," Nico Muhly writes in his note in the upcoming 40-disc box set John Adams Collected Works, "but in the spirit of writing something personal, I’d like to offer a few perhaps impersonal observations about his work in a more circular, even crabwise, fashion. There are specific places in John’s music where there is a rhyme hidden across decades, relating to an elusive sense of 'meaning' in his music which radiates across his body of work." You can read his complete note from the box set here.

  • Nonesuch Records releases the forty-disc John Adams Collected Works, a box set of recordings spanning more than four decades of the composer’s career with the label, on July 1, 2022. It includes two extensive booklets with new essays and notes by Timo Andres, Julia Bullock, Robert Hurwitz, Nico Muhly, and Jake Wilder-Smith. Nonesuch made its first record with John Adams in 1985; he was signed exclusively to the label that year, and since then the company has released forty-two first recordings and thirty-one all-Adams albums. “John Adams coming to the label was one of the central events in our company’s history,” says Robert Hurwitz, Nonesuch’s longtime President and current Chairman Emeritus. “The recordings were done in real time, mostly within a few months of a piece’s first performance. Every recording was either conducted by John, or made under close supervision of the composer, who was in the control booth for every album—when he wasn’t on the podium.” Collected Works includes thirty-five discs of Nonesuch recordings and five from other labels.

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  • About This Album

    1997 Grammy Award Winner

    Full of twists and turns, changes in tempo, and passages both melodic and fervent John Adams's orchestral piece El Dorado has been compared to Bolero in its intensity. “A Dream of Gold,” the 15-minute first movement, begins softly and gradually builds to a surging climax, while the contrasting second movement, “Soledades,” is slower in tempo and more melodic throughout. The piece is performed on this Nonesuch recording by the Hallé Orchestra with Kent Nagano conducting.

    After its 1993 New York premiere, the New York Times said of El Dorado that it “demonstrates why Mr. Adams remains the leading composer of his generation," calling the first movement "a spellbinding exercise in continual crescendo, an orchestral wildfire sparked by sinister rustlings of percussion.” In his liner note, Adams describes it as follows:

    Virtually every musical sign in this movement has an upward pointing vector. Some of these vectors reach their zenith and evaporate into the stratosphere. Others, like that of the heavy brass in the middle of the movement, create gigantic arches, soaring high and then dipping back down to draw more material upward with them, all the time gaining in mass and propulsion. Eventually the tempo springs loose from the stress of all this weight, and the music is suddenly thrust headlong into overdrive, doubling its speed and charging ahead, a terrible machine loose in the backwaters of Eden.

    “Soledades,” acclaimed by the San Francisco Examiner for its “heart-stopping lyricism,” creates a mood dramatically different from that of the first movement. Adams cites as its “spiritual ancestors” the Sixth Symphony of Sibelius and his own Shaker Loops and Common Tones in Simple Time.

    Also included on the recording is Adams’s orchestral arrangement of Liszt’s La lugubre gondola II, The Black Gondola, and Busoni’s Berceuse élégiaque, both performed by the London Sinfonietta, with Adams conducting. The Black Gondola, which represents the composer’s vision of the funeral procession transporting Wagner’s coffin through Venice, retains the beautifully solemn nature of the original chamber work. Much as Liszt’s composition reflects the sense of loss he felt as he contemplated Wagner’s death, Busoni’s Berceuse élégiaque is the composer’s intimate reflection on the death of his mother.

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    El Dorado
    The Halle Orchestra
    Kent Nagano, conductor

    Berceuse élégiaque and The Black Gondola
    London Sinfonietta
    John Adams, conductor

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    El Dorado
    Produced by Martin Sauer
    Recorded July 1993 at BBC Studios, Manchester, England
    Engineered by Don Hartridge

    Berceuse élégiaque and The Black Gondola
    Produced by Tommy Krasker
    Recorded December 1995 at Abbey Road Studios, London, England
    Engineered by John McClure
    Assistant Engineer: David Flower
    Edited by Ric Wilso at Digisonics, Northridge, CA

    Mastered by Paul Zinman at SoundByte Productions, NYC

    Design by John Heiden for SMOG
    Cover: Pedro Meyer, Virgil on the Greased Pole, Nochistlan, Oaxaca 1991/92, from Truths & Fictions, Aperture, New York 1995

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nonesuch's picture
on May 29, 2008 - 7:14pm
Release Date: 
Friday, October 11, 1996 - 04:00
DescriptionExcerpt: 

This Grammy-winning musical diptych contrasts images of ruined landscapes with glimpses of an imagined Arcadia. The New York Times praised “the technical ingenuity and expressive power on display here ... Mr. Adams remains the leading composer of his generation.”

Description: 

1997 Grammy Award Winner

Full of twists and turns, changes in tempo, and passages both melodic and fervent John Adams's orchestral piece El Dorado has been compared to Bolero in its intensity. “A Dream of Gold,” the 15-minute first movement, begins softly and gradually builds to a surging climax, while the contrasting second movement, “Soledades,” is slower in tempo and more melodic throughout. The piece is performed on this Nonesuch recording by the Hallé Orchestra with Kent Nagano conducting.

After its 1993 New York premiere, the New York Times said of El Dorado that it “demonstrates why Mr. Adams remains the leading composer of his generation," calling the first movement "a spellbinding exercise in continual crescendo, an orchestral wildfire sparked by sinister rustlings of percussion.” In his liner note, Adams describes it as follows:

Virtually every musical sign in this movement has an upward pointing vector. Some of these vectors reach their zenith and evaporate into the stratosphere. Others, like that of the heavy brass in the middle of the movement, create gigantic arches, soaring high and then dipping back down to draw more material upward with them, all the time gaining in mass and propulsion. Eventually the tempo springs loose from the stress of all this weight, and the music is suddenly thrust headlong into overdrive, doubling its speed and charging ahead, a terrible machine loose in the backwaters of Eden.

“Soledades,” acclaimed by the San Francisco Examiner for its “heart-stopping lyricism,” creates a mood dramatically different from that of the first movement. Adams cites as its “spiritual ancestors” the Sixth Symphony of Sibelius and his own Shaker Loops and Common Tones in Simple Time.

Also included on the recording is Adams’s orchestral arrangement of Liszt’s La lugubre gondola II, The Black Gondola, and Busoni’s Berceuse élégiaque, both performed by the London Sinfonietta, with Adams conducting. The Black Gondola, which represents the composer’s vision of the funeral procession transporting Wagner’s coffin through Venice, retains the beautifully solemn nature of the original chamber work. Much as Liszt’s composition reflects the sense of loss he felt as he contemplated Wagner’s death, Busoni’s Berceuse élégiaque is the composer’s intimate reflection on the death of his mother.

ProductionCredits: 

PRODUCTION CREDITS
El Dorado
Produced by Martin Sauer
Recorded July 1993 at BBC Studios, Manchester, England
Engineered by Don Hartridge

Berceuse élégiaque and The Black Gondola
Produced by Tommy Krasker
Recorded December 1995 at Abbey Road Studios, London, England
Engineered by John McClure
Assistant Engineer: David Flower
Edited by Ric Wilso at Digisonics, Northridge, CA

Mastered by Paul Zinman at SoundByte Productions, NYC

Design by John Heiden for SMOG
Cover: Pedro Meyer, Virgil on the Greased Pole, Nochistlan, Oaxaca 1991/92, from Truths & Fictions, Aperture, New York 1995

Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

79359

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
ns_album_artistid: 
2
ns_album_id: 
5
ns_album_releasedate: 
Tuesday, October 1, 1996 - 04:00
ns_genre_1: 
0
ns_genre_2: 
0
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597935929BUN
Price: 
0.00
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
081227781668
Price: 
9.00
Artist Name: 
John Adams
MusicianDetails: 

MUSICIANS
El Dorado
The Halle Orchestra
Kent Nagano, conductor

Berceuse élégiaque and The Black Gondola
London Sinfonietta
John Adams, conductor

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