First premiered in 2005, there has been a significant delay in the production of this opera soundtrack. A DVD - Adams - Doctor Atomic (Netherlands Po) [DVD]  was available in 2008, ten years before the release of the CD, so was it worth the wait? .... Definitely, but it is frustrating and disappointing to have to wait until 2018 to listen to it properly.
I got the CD version and am pleased with It. The package consists of a neat well-designed cardboard box which holds the two CDs and a 62 page booklet. The CDs are in cardboard slipcases with track details on the back, and the booklet is comprehensive with details about the composer, performers, synopsis, full libretto and some souvenir photos.
The CD recording sound is crystal clear, and was obtained from BBC recordings at Maida Vale and the Barbican in 2017 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Adams, himself..
The main role of Dr Robert Oppenheimer (Oppie) was performed by Gerald Finley who has played this part previously, and is excellent. Kitty Oppenheimer (wife) is sung by Julia Bullock who is also outstanding. In duets, they are sublime and their motives and feelings are vividly expressed in words and music.
The music itself is post-modern. Tonal and lushly harmonious music contrasts with tense, sharp, discordance as the drama and darkness become apparent. For instance, "Am I in your light?" - sung by Kitty with poetically beautiful lyrics, is an unforgettable aria of tenderness and love. The response by Oppie is also romantic and loving, but there is an uneasiness, perhaps reflecting the portent of things to come....?
The operas composed by John Adams include Nixon in China and The Death of Klinghoffer, and these are renowned for their difficult subjects, which can be viewed as political and controversial, and this opera fits this genre. Adams manages to facilitate new depths of analysis and comprehension of these topics through his music and the fair-minded and balanced librettos.
The music of John Adams is contemporary classical music but it is nevertheless accessible and this opera is an example of his finest music.