Tag Archives: John Coolidge Adams

My Year in Music, 2014

Contemporaneous "Living Toys" Concert at Roulette (David Bloom conducting)

Contemporaneous “Living Toys” Concert at Roulette (David Bloom conducting)

I’ve had a particularly memorable “year in music” this year. While I’ve listed a “Prufrock’s Dozen” of CDs, this year-end post isn’t a “best of” list in the usual sense, but rather an opportunity to gather together the “best of” my musical experiences throughout the year. The post is divided into three sections: A “Prufrock’s Dozen” of CDs, Live Performances, and Other Significant Music-Related Activities. Continue reading

Reflections on The Death of Klinghoffer

Acacia_Negev

When asked about her libretto for the opera, The Death of Klinghoffer, Alice Goodman, whose voice has not been heard nearly enough in the current discussions, said:

Our world has had, since before I was born, histories of people dehumanizing other people, of which the Jewish people have been the most notable of subjects, of victims. And so I think that it is absolutely paramount that civilization, that people who claim to be humane, civilized, moral, and, as it were, looking to a higher power, should know better than to wish to dehumanize anyone and should be able to acknowledge also the darkness that is in each of us. So, in other words, there is nothing that is human that should be foreign to us. That’s one of the things that art exists to express. Continue reading

My Year In Music 2013

CDs Full PB269441_edited-1This year, I’m even more relieved than last year that I’m not a professional critic assigned to assemble a “top ten” music list for 2013. Instead, here is a year-end offering of highlights from my personal musical journey throughout the year.

I also want to recognize the composer and musicians who participated in This Life in Music profiles during 2013: Maxwell J McKee, Sabrina Tabby, Dávid Adam NagyLucy Dhegrae, and Amy Garapic, as well as composer Dylan Mattingly, for his guest post on his new work, The Bakkhai (a report on the premiere of The Bakkhai is included in this post). It was a pleasure and privilege to present each of them on Prufrock’s Dilemma. Thanks to all! Continue reading

Lucky Sydney (Australia)

August 22 and 23, 2013, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, with John Adams conducting, will premiere Adams’s Saxophone Concerto, with the stupendous Timothy McAllister on saxophone. McAllister spoke with SoundNotion in an entertaining and wide-ranging conversation about the Saxophone Concerto, Adam’s previous piece featuring McAllister, City Noir, as well as “style, artistry and [calling all music nerds and fellow travelers] how a piece can rock even without slap tonguing.” Continue reading

Just Walking Around in John Adams’s City Noir

Adams NSO IMG_0294_edited-2Melodies appear as inexplicably as a dirty blond in Philip Marlowe’s office.
—Mark Swed, reviewing City Noir

The first time I visited Los Angeles, a friend took me to a favorite taco place, a low-slung building trapped under a freeway labyrinth. Another time, I was part of a Writers Guild negotiations team. In my infirm recollection, nighttime had a feel at once seedy and glamorous: swank hotels cheek by jowl with crumbling stucco buildings, sidewalks empty of walkers, sulfurous street lamps piercing the dark. The city seemed an unnavigable maze, with a culture I couldn’t fathom. Continue reading