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John Adams: The Gospel According to the Other Mary / Brian Cummings, Daniel Bubeck, Nathan Medley, Tamara Mumford. Dudamel, LA PO

Album Summary

>Adams, John : The Gospel According to the Other Mary, opera
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Los Angeles Times
World Premiere Recording Of John Adams' "21st Century Masterpiece".

A timely, controversial work of grand proportions, The Gospel According To The Other Mary is a new, full-scale reimagining of the Bach oratorio from composer John Adams andiconoclast writer/director Peter Sellars.

Adams and Sellars' previous collaborations included Nixon In China , the most-performed American opera since Gershwin's Porgy and Bess , and Dr. Atomic , an opera about the invention of the atomic bomb.

Focusing on the often marginalized perspectives of Mary Magdalene and Martha, The Gospel According To The Other Mary sets Biblical characters and events, including the resurrection of Lazarus and the passion of Christ, in a powerfully political, contemporary light.

As with the nativity oratorio El Niño (a response to Handel's Messiah), and the opera Dr.Atomic , the libretto is been assembled by Peter Sellars, who has interwoven events from the New and Old Testaments with poetry reflecting themes of faith and liberation from the 12th Century mystic Hildegard von Bingen, to the 20th Century Mexican feminist poetRosario Castellanos.

This world premiere recording, featuring the original cast, was made in Walt Disney Concert Hall at performances staged by Peter Sellars.

A champion of contemporary music and social engagement through art, Gustavo Dudamel commissioned the work together with the LA Phil as part of a long-standing creative relationship with John Adams.

BBC Music Magazine, April 2014
Miracles are violent and terrifying...Kelley O'Connor is an impactful Magdalene - unruly, extravagantly passionate. Contralto Tamara Mumford has mesmerising beauty and depth of tone. Under Gustavo Dudamel, the Los Angeles Philharmonic play with blistering force.

The Times, 27th March 2014
The two-hour-plus epic charges ahead like a runaway train before lurching to a stop. Performances share a similar surge. There's no place to hide from mezzo Kelley O'Connor, urgently sensuous as Mary Magdalene...Orchestrally, this is one of Adam's strongest, most varied dramatic scores, though doubts linger over the eloquence of his vocal writing.

Gramophone Magazine, April 2014
Sellar's achievement is pacy, coherent and intensely moving, and builds to powerful climaxes...It provides Adams with a vehicle that has inspired music of especial fire and spirituality...Adams runs the gamut of colours with a battery of percussion...Adams and Sellars's new drama never flags. Hugely recommended.

The Guardian, 17th April 2014
Without any visual distractions, the strengths of the score emerge powerfully...the parallels with Bach's passions are clear, but as in El Ni±o, Adams has created his own synthesis. Both works are unlike anything else in the choral repertoire.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles (03/2013).


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Works Details

>Adams, John : The Gospel According to the Other Mary, opera
  • Performer: Kelley O'Connor (Mezzo-Soprano)
  • Conductor: Gustavo Dudamel
  • Ensemble: Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Running Time: 4 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Opera/Operetta