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Adams: The Dharma At Big Sur - My Father Knew Charles Ives

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Customer Reviews

Dharma: astonishing.

I saw The Dharma at Big Sur performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and would have to describe it as easily the most astonishing and mesmerizing peice of classical music I've ever heard. It gave me chills at least a half adozen times. Adam's style in Dharma is very unique, blending asian instruments and sounds with classical intruments and hints of jazz. The result is extremely expressive and moving.

Fabulous! Stunning! Mesmerizing!

To echo a previous reviewer, these pieces give me chills! On first hearing, they are merely huge, thrilling and exuberant. But on multiple hearings, they gradually reveal their depth, both of structure and passion. If you like Indian ragas -- as I learned to love them through Ravi Shankar'smusic in the 1970's -- you will understand Dharma at Big Sur more readily. It's an amazing hybrid of European and Indian musical traditions. I've never really liked Charles Ives' music -- it was always hard for me to hear the "music" in it. But I can hear both Ives and music in "My Father Knew Charles Ives." Again, a brilliant modern rendition of Ives' ideas in his "Fourth of July" piece, but much more listenable. I heartily recommend these pieces. I find them immensely joyous and uplifting.

Same old same old

Somebody please stop me from buying any more John Adams music on iTunes. Every time, without fail, I listen to the little excerpt and think, "Hey, that's not bad. Maybe the whole thing is even better." Then I buy it and realize I've been taken again as I suffer through an hour of excruciatingly bad music. And when I say bad, I mean sincerely, heartfelt, profoundly bad. The electronic violin in the not-at-all-pretentiously-titled "The Dharma at Big Sur" will actually give you a migraine. I'm sorry. I want to like John Adams' music, I really do. He's supposed to be our greatest living composer, and he sure as heck beats whoever passes for "great" in the UK these days. And some of Adams' work is not so bad -- his Short Ride in a Fast Machine is megafun, and his Common Tones in Simple Time is almost beautiful in places. But no more for me. Never again. I mean it this time.


Formed: 1930

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Funded and administered under the government sponsored British Broadcasting Company, the BBC Symphony Orchestra has, since its establishment in 1930, enjoyed a freedom from significant financial concerns which often plague independently funded orchestras. Because of this, the BBC Symphony Orchestra has been able to present a large body of new or lesser-known works that might be considered too avant-garde for many of the world's other major orchestras. In addition to its full schedule of broadcast...
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Adams: The Dharma At Big Sur - My Father Knew Charles Ives, BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Sep 25, 2006

Customer Ratings