Adams: The Dharma At Big Sur - My Father Knew Charles Ives
BBC Symphony Orchestra, John Adams & Tracy Silverman
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||The Dharma At Big Sur, Part I: A New Day||BBC Symphony Orchestra, John Adams & Tracy Silverman||14:29||Album Only||View In iTunes|
||The Dharma At Big Sur, Part II: Sri Moonshine||BBC Symphony Orchestra, John Adams & Tracy Silverman||12:20||Album Only||View In iTunes|
||My Father Knew Charles Ives, I. Concord||BBC Symphony Orchestra & John Adams||9:35||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||My Father Knew Charles Ives, II. The Lake||BBC Symphony Orchestra & John Adams||6:40||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||My Father Knew Charles Ives, III. The Mountain||BBC Symphony Orchestra & John Adams||10:11||Album Only||View In iTunes|
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.
Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s