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

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

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

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

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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

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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.

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 NiƱo. 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.

The Gospel According to the Other Mary Album cover hide caption

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Album cover

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04The Gospel According to the Other Mary, opera [Act 1. Scene 2. I am surprised that I am beginning to pray daily]

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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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  • from John Adams: The Gospel According to the Other Mary
  • by Gustavo Dudamel

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Song
John Adams: The Gospel According to the Other Mary
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?

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.

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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?