MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

John Adams’s Gospel


Since my essay is included in this recording, I have to recuse myself from offering a review, but I can say that I consider The Gospel According to the Other Mary among John Adams’s most profound accomplishments. It certainly probes new ground for this ever-evolving, brilliant musical mind.

As for the critical reactions I have seen, nothing yet has come to my attention that seriously grapples with the full complexity of this score.

A curious note: Gospel was among this year’s Pulitzer finalists. I think it’s a safe bet that this year marks the first time two composers sharing the same last name were up for the same prize, which in this case was taken by John Luther Adams for Become Ocean.

If you haven’t had a chance to explore this Adams/Peter Sellars collaboration, do yourself a favor.

Filed under: American music, directors, John Adams, new music, spirituality

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