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Late Victorians: Regina Coeli;

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Product Details

  • Performer: Pulley; Alimena; Eclipse Orchestra; Sullivan; Levalier
  • Composer: Adamo Mark
  • Audio CD (Nov. 17 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nam
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #311,206 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Acclaimed as 'one of the best opera composers of the moment', American composer-librettist Mark Adamo has also ventured into symphonic composition and other fields in each of which his theatrical sensitivity, political commitment and musical maste

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa42f0aec) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa46f4e64) out of 5 stars The Beauty of Remembrance Dec 8 2009
By Tym S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
"Late Victorians" is a great piece about a terrible thing. It is a sonic essay commemorating the losses of the AIDS plague in late 80's San Francisco. Composer Adamo evokes this in a theatrical collage of spoken word, operatic poetry, and bittersweet music. The narrative voice, based on Richard Rodriguez's essays, carries the tone of his spare, wise, sad clarity. Hardwon, wounded, a stark certainty come to from quiet, persistent, painful shifts. Stripped down to life and death, each moment becomes an epiphany, each memory a parting gift. Andrew Sullivan deftly narrates in harmony alongside soprano Emily Pulley, who instills melodic ease into unflinching lines from Emily Dickenson. Pulley in particular delivers a delicate balancing act of operatic beauty, witty phrasing, and topical modernity.

"Regina Coeli", adapted from Adamo's "Four Angels" concerto, brings Mother Mary into heaven. The sad ascendence of the strings blossoms into gossamer wonder by harpist Dotian Levalier. "Overture to Lysistrata" compresses his "Lysistrata" opera into three movements: the dramatic first driven and restless, a tumbling wind through every corner; the second lyrical and passionate, romantic in the sense of idealism; and the third a complex tonal strobe running fiercely. From his world-famed "Little Women" opera, Adamo streamlines "Alcott Music" into three character movements for orchestral voicing. Rich in the personalities of their character namesakes, they are a joy to the ear. A fine overview of an important new composer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4e720c0) out of 5 stars Dark, Beautiful, Amazing Jan. 8 2010
By Ellen Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There's always such a sense of story in Adamo's music, even when there are no words involved. Regina Coeli, the luminous harp and strings piece, unfolds like a flower or a folk-tale: every note feels so right, even when you hear it the first time. I knew Little Women, and so enjoyed the suite, which sounds glamourous in this full-strings orchestration, but the Overture to Lysistrata was new to me, and sparkling: four joyous minutes of fizzing Champagne. The big piece, though, is Late Victorians, which is a kind of twenty-five solo opera in which the single character, remembering friends lost to AIDS, is played at once by a speaking man and a singing woman, while the friends he loses are evoked by instrumental soloists. Again, the story (not written, but assembled by Adamo from poetry of Emily Dickinson and prose of Richard Rodriguez) feels honest as your own diary, if you've ever lost someone to any tragedy at all: I can see a lot of people playing it late at night for solace. And what players! Andrew Sullivan is a grave, moving narrator, and Emily Pulley, the soprano, is a tender actress with a full, brilliant sound: I don't think I've ever heard a piannissimo like the clarinetist's in the first solo, and the hornist evokes memories of Dennis Brain. (Why aren't the players billed?) The conductor, Sylvia Alimena, makes every moment glow. A gorgeous, emotional record.
HASH(0xa4e72e10) out of 5 stars Late Victorians, wearing modern garb April 4 2010
By Jim D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Here's a varied program by a leading American composer of our time, both tonal and contemporary in the music he creates. One movement from a full-length concerto has been scored as a standalone piece for harp and strings, while an overture to one opera is followed by a suite from another (the much-performed "Little Women").

"Late Victorians," the title work of the disc, takes a magazine essay on AIDS, its victims and survivors, and weaves around it the poetry of Emily Dickinson; two solo voices are featured, one spoken and one sung. In a way, it derives from Haydn's "Farewell" symphony, with its vanishing musicians, but though regret and bitterness are added to the mix here, the piece is all the more effective for its generally understated tone. Performances are assured, and the recording is mostly close and clear (the harp gets a little swimmy at times). Notes are by the composer himself, who you should know if you don't.

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