Nonesuch Releases John Adams’ Doctor Atomic Symphony, July 28

Album also includes Adams’ Guide to Strange Places
David Robertson leads Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra in first recording of both works

(ST. LOUIS) – Tomorrow, July 28, 2009, Nonesuch Records releases a recording of two works by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams, the Doctor Atomic Symphony and Guide to Strange Places, performed by the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) under the direction of its Music Director, David Robertson . This is the premiere recording of both works, recorded live in 2008 at Powel Hall in St. Louis , and the first CD recording of Robertson with the SLSO. The Nonesuch recording is also available as an MP3 download.

Adams’ Doctor Atomic Symphony is drawn from his opera Doctor Atomic, a modern Faust story depicting the final hours before the detonation of the first atomic bomb. At the encouragement of Robertson, Adams adapted music from his opera into symphonic form, dedicating the completed work to Robertson. The New York Times said of the symphony, “… the score invites you to hear the music—driving passages with pounding timpani, quizzically restrained lyrical flights, bursts of skittish fanfares—on its own terms, apart from its dramatic context.”

Also on the CD is Adams’ 2001 work, Guide to Strange Places. Adams has said he was inspired by a French guide book of Provence in the creation of the work. “A chapter was dedicated to paysages insolites—or ‘strange places,’” Adams explained. “It set my imagination off…. In a sense, all of my pieces are travel pieces, often through paysages insolites—it’s the way I experience musical form.”

The recording was made possible by a generous gift from the Centene Charitable Foundation, St. Louis , Missouri .

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