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Songbirdsongs by John Luther Adams
Released: Apr 2012
Label: MODE
The first mature work by the other John Adams (middle name: Luther), this piece finally received a top-flight recording courtesy of Callithumpian Consort, in 2012. The scoring -- for flautists (doubling on piccolo and ocarina) plus celesta and percussion battery -- will be familiar to JLA admirers: The openness and mystery of the natural world is conjured by both cell-fragments of melody (a la birdcalls), as well as by the way instrumental rhythms are layered. As in nature, this piece offers bursts of extremity ("Joyful Noise") and then a return back to calm ("Evensong"). An important album.
Seth Colter Walls

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