To the UK generation immediately after mine (I was born in 1949) there has been a sense of "too much Adams" but this is probably more to do with how his music is used than its quality. (Glass suffers the same fate). The man's musicianship is immense and he is not stuck in his own groove. The Ives songs here are presented with a freshness too often lost nowadays as Ives is too often treated as a grand old man rather than the genius Webern recognised. Adams lifts the songs, and 'Question' from false familiarity to truly great works. Dawn Upshaw's unique voice is understood completely by John Adams. His own Eros Piano is well chosen as being in a different medium from the other pieces but rather overshadows the weakest work on the disc, the David Diamond Ravel Elegy. Shuffling the tracks is well worth the effort. The Ingram Marshall Fog Tropes is quite well known over here in the cinema world rather than concert hall and Adams gives it authority in the directed parts. For me, though, the key work on this marvellous disc is the Feldman. I remember Maxwell Davis conducting it in London and it is strange that Feldman is relatively hard to find at the moment. 'Madame Press...' requires playing and direction of perfect concentration and John Adams shows his love for the music on this disc at his most dignified in the Feldman especially. This disc cannot be over-praised.
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