B&H is pleased to present a three-volume collection of John Adams’s opera choruses with piano accompaniment, including choral selections from Nixon in China, Doctor Atomic, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, and more.
Boosey & Hawkes is pleased to make available for the first time a three-volume collection of John Adams’s choruses from his world-renowned operas, edited by conductor Grant Gershon, featuring choral selections from six iconic stage works with newly arranged piano accompaniment by Chitose Okashiro.
Adams’s stage works are repertory staples at opera houses across the world, celebrated for their exceptional craft, emotional resonance, and urgently relevant subject matter. The LA Times described the role of Adams’s choruses in his operas as a powerful narrative and emotional driver: “They are the weather. They are memories. They are dreams. They are fears. They are history. They are the governors of emotion.”
> Opera Choruses, Volume 1: Choruses from El Niño, The Gospel According to the Other Mary
> Opera Choruses, Volume 2: Choruses from Nixon in China, Doctor Atomic, A Flowering Tree
> Opera Choruses, Volume 3: Choruses from The Death of Klinghoffer
Volume 1 features choral selections from Adams’s two oratorios, based on Biblical texts: El Niño, which tells the story of the Nativity, and The Gospel According to the Other Mary, the story of the Passion, which The New York Times called "an extraordinary work, containing some of Mr. Adams’s richest, most daring music."
Volume 2 features choral selections from three of Adams’s most celebrated operas: Nixon in China, a dramatic imagining of President Nixon’s epochal 1972 trip to China, Doctor Atomic, which visits physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer in the days before the testing of the atomic bomb, and A Flowering Tree, an adaptation of a South Indian folktale about a beautiful girl who transforms into a tree. Selections include the hypnotic opening of Nixon in China leading into the chorus “Soldiers of Heaven,” the darkly dramatic "At the Sight of This” from Doctor Atomic, and the brilliant “Flores” from A Flowering Tree.
Volume 3 features all seven choruses from Adams’s second opera The Death of Klinghoffer, a fictionalized account of the infamous Achille Lauro incident of 1985, in which Palestinian terrorists boarded an Italian cruise ship, held its passengers and crew hostage, and killed an elderly Jewish, wheelchair-bound American named Leon Klinghoffer. Influenced by the Bach Passions, the work crosses boundaries between opera and oratorio, with a series of choruses that run through the opera and range from powerful (“Night Chorus”) to ethereal (“Ocean Chorus”) to tender (“Day Chorus”).
The new piano versions of the orchestral accompaniments for Adams’s choruses have been meticulously crafted to reflect Adams’s highly virtuosic piano writing as well as the rich, complex orchestrations of his large-scale works.
Grant Gershon, whose chorus Los Angeles Master Chorale has collaborated closely with Adams for many decades, has conducted multiple premieres of Adams’s stage works, including his most recent opera Girls of the Golden West. Gershon wrote the following about Adams’s choral works:
As a pianist and conductor with a deep love of choirs I’ve often wished that there was more music of John’s available to choral ensembles. John seems to pour heart and soul into the choruses of his large-scale works and so it has been frustrating that only those choral ensembles lucky enough to be associated with a symphony orchestra or opera company have heretofore had access to this great repertoire. I’m therefore delighted that these newly transcribed versions of some of John’s greatest choruses will open up his music to many more choral ensembles and pianists.
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