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J. Adams: Doctor Atomic Symphony & Guide to Strange Places

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Customer Reviews

Inreresting piece...appropriate.

Thank goodness Boolez is around writing reviews for every release on itunes. Clearly has plenty of time alone in a room by himself. And with a name like Boolez, you can understand his incredible historical insight about triadic music. What a mind! Doctor Atomic Symphony is a good suite from the very long opera. Having seen the opera at the Met last year, the opera could use a bit of editing. However, its essence and its strongest music exist here. "Batter My Heart" is one of the high-points in recent operatic history. Oppenheimer's vocal line is given to the trumpet here. It's all a very nice evocation of the opera, but probably best exists as a suite to recall the opera to those who have seen it. While it lacks the architecture of Adams' larger orchestra pieces, it's still a very enjoyable listening experience as is Guide to Strange Places.

i am so excited!

Personally, i felt that Doctor Atomic was probably one of the greatest operas i had ever seen. I just loved the orchestral textures. I am happy that itunes finally has Doctor Atomic, even though it isn't the opera. Everything on this disc sounds great. The brass, acoustics, etc.


I was never a fan of the opera but then again it's a dying art form anyway. The symphonic exctracts give a fairly good sense of what the mother piece was like. To my ears it's a bit overwrought and in serious need of revision. It would appear that Adams knew this as well because he kept pushing back the premire date while he recast the work. If anything the whole album goes to defend Hindemith's dictum that modern music would eventulally fall back to the triad. In this instance the four stars really go to the Guide to Strange Places which is a much better piece. It has Adams signature voice all over it and is one of the better pieces he's done in some time showing us why he's the reigning king of post-modern romanticism. I'd say to get this for the last track but becuase Itunes won't let you you'll just have to get the whole thing. The one kilo-ton Dr Atomic isn't exactly a blast but you might find something in it after a while.

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J. Adams: Doctor Atomic Symphony & Guide to Strange Places, David Robertson
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Jul 17, 2009

Customer Ratings