Adès: Dante winner of this year's Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance!
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Adams: Girls of the Golden West (2 CD)

John Adams’ powerful opera, Girls of the Golden West, is a rejection of the whitewashed romantic view of California in the early days of the Gold Rush. Director Peter Sellars drew from historical texts for the libretto, particularly from the memoirs of a woman who called herself Dame Shirley. As Sellars has said, “These true stories of the Forty-Niners are overwhelming in their heroism, passion, and cruelty, telling tales of racial conflicts, colorful and humorous exploits, political strife and struggles to build new life.” Responding to these incidents, Adams’ propulsive music captures all the conflicting emotions with his characteristic insight.

The composer himself leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in this live recording from Walt Disney Concert Hall, which also features the Los Angeles Master Chorale and a cast led by Julia Bullock, Davóne Tines, Paul Appleby, Hye Jung Lee, Elliot Madore, Daniela Mack, and Ryan McKinny.

“Girls of the Golden West may be my most personal of all stage creations,” Adams says. “Like the characters in its story, I too am a kind of California immigrant, having arrived here from Massachusetts in my early twenties, much the same age as many of those who came in here search of gold … For 40 years I have hiked those same mountains, sometimes stumbling on the remains of an old shaft dug into the side of a steep ravine. And I too share the same sense of awe and appreciation that Dame Shirley so perfectly evokes in the opera’s very last moment - for the fathomless splendor and ‘never-enough-to- be-talked-about sky of California.’”

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Full album available on CD and streaming April 26, 2024

Preview Track - Act I, Scene 1: Wagon Ride: “Ned Peters was a hustler"

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Recorded live at Walt Disney Concert Hall in January 2023
Featured Artists: Los Angeles Philharmonic, John Adams (conductor)
Format: 2-disc CD set, trifold softpack
Label: Nonesuch Records
Release date: 04/26/2024

Track Listing

1. (Scene 1) “It was a driving, vigorous, restless population”
2. (Scene 1) Wagon Ride: “Ned Peters was a hustler”
3. (Scene 2) “My name is Joe”
4. (Scene 2) “Now he consoles himself”
5. (Scene 3) “A gambler’s life I do admire”
6. (Scene 3) “Josefa, you remember”
7. (Scene 4) “It’s bone, it’s backbone”
8. (Scene 4) “Comin’ up from Red Dog”

1. (Scene 1) “The Raven”
2. (Scene 2) The attack on the Mexicans
3. (Scene 3) “It seems like midnight”
4. (Scene 3) “What is this celebration to me?”
5. (Scene 4) “This very nearly was the cause”
6. (Scene 4) “Ven esta noche”
7. (Scene 4) “Blessed and praised”
8. (Scene 4) “I’m going far away from my creditors”
9. (Scene 5) The Downieville mob
10. (Scene 5) “Tú me quieres alba”
11. (Scene 5) “It’s four long years” (Lousy Miner)
12. Epilogue “Sometimes I lounge forlornly to the window”
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