Music Makers

John Adams' Psychedelic Oratorio Gives Voice To 'The Other Mary'

A moment from The Gospel According to the Other Mary, as performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2013 at London's Barbican Centre. i i

A moment from The Gospel According to the Other Mary, as performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2013 at London's Barbican Centre. Mark Allan/Barbican Centre hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Allan/Barbican Centre
A moment from The Gospel According to the Other Mary, as performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2013 at London's Barbican Centre.

A moment from The Gospel According to the Other Mary, as performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2013 at London's Barbican Centre.

Mark Allan/Barbican Centre

For the millennium, in 2000 American composer John Adams completed a compelling, large-scale oratorio based on the nativity story called El Niño. Now he's composed a companion piece, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, a Passion oratorio mounted with his usual collaborator, the stage director and librettist Peter Sellars. A recording of the two-hour work with Gustavo Dudamel leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic was released this month.

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The Gospel According to the Other Mary

The Gospel According to the Other Mary Album cover hide caption

itoggle caption Album cover

Mary: 'I am surprised that I am beginning to pray daily'

  • Artist: Gustavo Dudamel
  • Album: John Adams: The Gospel According to the Other Mary

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Song
The Gospel According to the Other Mary, opera [Act 1. Scene 2. I am surprised that I am beginning to pray daily]
Album
John Adams: The Gospel According to the Other Mary
Artist
Gustavo Dudamel
Label
Deutsche Grammophon
Released
2014

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Describing the work to NPR's Arun Rath, Adams says, "There is no person who plays the role of Jesus. There is no Mel Gibson. There is no Victor Mature or Burt Lancaster. Actually, everyone in the cast quotes Jesus at one time or another. He's just there as a luminous presence. To me Jesus is more an embodiment, a spirit rather than an actual living flesh-and-blood person." Hear more of their conversation at the audio link.

Purchase Featured Music

John Adams: The Gospel According to the Other Mary

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Album
John Adams: The Gospel According to the Other Mary
Artist
Gustavo Dudamel
Label
Deutsche Grammophon
Released
2014

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

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