To buy any of these titles e-mail András Goldinger or call the store: (202) 364-1919

2 Adamses together

Reading a review of a live performance of El Niño (here, ) reminded me how perfect this oratorio is for the Christmas season—and why I have the CD on the P&P holiday music display every year. EL NIÑO (Nonesuch, 2 CDs, $29.98) has soprano Dawn Upshaw, mezzo Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, baritone Willard White, three countertenors, an adult and children’s choirs, plus the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin—all under the direction of Kent Nagano. Its very literary libretto mixes poetry by Sor Juana, Rosario Castellanos and Gabriela Mistral with passages from the Bible, New Testament Apocrypha, and English Mystery Plays. This is a very special work.

And don’t forget the paperback version of Adam’s autobiography, HALLELUJAH JUNCTION (Farrar Strauss Giroux, $16), has recently appeared.


One year ago, we had John Adams at the store for Hallelujah Junction; two seasons ago, Alex Ross, the classical music critic of the New Yorker, appeared for his history of 20th-century music, The Rest is Noise.
Here are his favorites from the last year; check out his great music blog, Unquiet Thoughts ( ).

“Colbran, the Muse”: Rossini Arias; Joyce DiDonato, Edoardo Müller conducting the Orchestra and Chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome (Virgin Classics)

“Song of Songs”: Works by Palestrina, Gombert, Lassus, Victoria, Clemens, Guerrero, Lhéritier, Ceballos, Vivanco; Stile Antico (Harmonia Mundi)

Ravel, Debussy, Fauré, String Quartets; Ebène Quartet (Virgin Classics) [released in 2008, belatedly discovered in 2009]

Schubert, “Winterreise”; Mark Padmore, Paul Lewis (Harmonia Mundi)

Ann Southam, “Simple Lines of Enquiry”; Eve Egoyan (Centrediscs)

David Lang, “The Little Match Girl Passion”; Paul Hillier, Theatre of Voices and Ars Nova Copenhagen (Harmonia Mundi)

Xenakis, String Quartets; Jack Quartet (Mode)

Othmar Schoeck, “Notturno”; Christian Gerhaher, Rosamunde Quartet (ECM)

Mozart, Piano Concertos Nos. 23 and 24: Mitsuko Uchida, Cleveland Orchestra (Decca)

Messiaen, “St. Francis of Assisi”; Rod Gilfry, Hubert Delamboye, Henk Neven, Camilla Tilling, and Tom Randle, with Ingo Metzmacher conducting the Netherlands Opera Chorus and Hague Philharmonic (Opus Arte DVD)