Adam's NIXON IN CHINA
January 4, 2008 8:01 PM   Subscribe


 
Nice. I have a recording of Nixon in China, but had never seen what the performance actually looks like. Thanks for the post.
posted by tepidmonkey at 8:20 PM on January 4, 2008


Adams' orchestral version of The Chairman Dances was my first exposure to his work, and it still has the power to thrill me every time I hear it.

Thanks for reminding me to pull out & give another listen to my old copy of Nixon in China.
posted by Guy Smiley at 9:48 PM on January 4, 2008


This is glorious, thank you.
posted by Bromius at 10:06 PM on January 4, 2008


This piece is absolute genius. That opening scene, where Nixon gets off the plane and sings 'news has a kind of mystery,' has so much packed into it: it recreates an important historical moment beautifully, it reflects upon how profoundly technology was changing the world and the immediate importance it brought to things as they happened, and also shows Nixon et al as the real people they were--especially Nixon's self-absorption comes to the fore immediately in that scene, as Chou En-lai is trying to introduce the various ranking officials but can't interrupt Nixon's train of thought. The whole opera is like that, beautiful and elegant and layered and the music is exquisite...

I love this piece, thanks for this post.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:27 PM on January 4, 2008


I have performed The Chairman Dances on stage. Nearly the toughest thing I've ever done (The rehearsals were tougher--what a learning curve).
posted by sourwookie at 12:15 AM on January 5, 2008


Related: Here are two excerpts (sans video) from one of Adams' most recent works, A Flowering Tree: one, two.

For those wanting to sample more of his work, I'd highly recommend Harmonielehre, The Dharma at Big Sur, and his Violin Concerto.
posted by rmannion at 5:07 AM on January 5, 2008


I saw it last year, certainly worthwhile.
posted by ersatz at 5:12 AM on January 5, 2008


Ersatz -- where was it performed? My wife just asked me two days ago if it had been performed lately and I didn't know the answer.
posted by wittgenstein at 6:20 AM on January 5, 2008


It was at the English National Opera last year, it was great.
posted by Mocata at 7:23 AM on January 5, 2008


I was fortunate to see the production in Edinburgh in 1988. It remains the most riveting thing I've ever seen on stage, and I saw Kurious Oranj the same year too. Thanks for the post which has reminded me I must dust off the CD later today.
posted by punilux at 7:31 AM on January 5, 2008


Very nice—I knew about the opera but had never heard (or seen) it, and I liked the "News" excerpt a lot. Thanks for the post!
/off to watch more excerpts
posted by languagehat at 8:17 AM on January 5, 2008


OMG! I saw this once back in the 90s when it ran on public television and I've wanted to see it again ever since! Awesome! Thank you!
posted by jokeefe at 12:15 PM on January 5, 2008


This is the same performance I saw on TV-- from its premiere at the Dallas Opera, I think? Fantastic.
posted by jokeefe at 12:41 PM on January 5, 2008


Wow that's neat! My dad used to play this in the car during our long family roadtrips.
posted by lester the unlikely at 3:04 PM on January 5, 2008


Ersatz -- where was it performed? My wife just asked me two days ago if it had been performed lately and I didn't know the answer.

I saw it in Athens from the English National Opera. More info.
posted by ersatz at 4:57 PM on January 5, 2008


IIRC, the San Francisco Opera will present it sometime in the next couple of seasons. Their new GM had a Houston connection, and bringing it was part of the package.
posted by gwyon at 10:31 PM on January 5, 2008


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