John Adams I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky

Rating 3.4
16 ratings
Out of Print: Future availability is unknown
Item:  NNS 79473
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CD Details

  • Released: October 27, 1998
  • Label: Nonesuch

Entertainment Reviews:

The Wire - p.62
"[T]he ensemble playing is suitably uninhibited and funky..."

Tracks:

  • 1.I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky: Ensemble - I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky (Mike, Consuelo, Dewain, Rick, Leila, Tiffany, David)
  • 2.I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky: A Sermon On Romance (David, Leila)
  • 3.I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky: Consuelo's Dream (Connsuelo)
  • 4.I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky: Mike's Song About Arresting A Particular Individual (Mike)
  • 5.I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky: Tiffany's Solo (Mike)
  • 6.I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky: Song About The On - Site Altercation (Dewain, Tiffany, Leila, Mike)
  • 7.I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky: Song About The Bad Boys and The News (Tiffany, Consuelo, Leila)
  • 8.I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky: Your Honor My Client He's A Young Black Man (Rick, Dewain)
  • 9.I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky: Leila's Song; Alone (Again Or At Last) (Leila)
  • 10.I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky: Three Weeks and Still I'm Outta My Mind (David, Lelia)
  • 11.I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky: Crushed By The Rock I Been Standing On (David, Consuelo, Tiffany, Rick)
  • 12.I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky: Dewain's Song of Liberation and Surprise (Dewain)
  • 13.I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky: !Este Pais! - This Country (Consuelo, Dewain)
  • 14.I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky: One Last Look At The Angel In Your Eyes (Consuelo, Dewain)
  • 15.I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky: Finale (Mike, Consuelo, Dewain, Rick, Leila, Tiffany, David)

Product Description:

Selection recorded in December, 1996 (Arabian Studios, Helsinki, Finland) and May, 1997 (Avatar Studios, New York City).
'I Was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky' is a lyric and title based on a survivor's response to the 1994 earthquake in Northridge, California. John Adams' opera establishes the situations of seven individuals in Los Angeles and then disrupts their lives with the earthquake, finally illustrating the upheaval wrought in all seven lives--change, but not entirely for the worse.
This work is much less an "opera-house" work than 'Nixon in China,' and evokes a variety of popular styles. Adams has moved away from strict minimalism in the sense of repetition and gradual change to a rhythmically active style which incorporates a good deal of repetition but with more sense of forward motion. "Consuelo's Dream" has a luminous quality similar to "This is Prophetic" from 'Nixon,' but the work as a whole seems more akin to Broadway than classical styles.
The vocalists, mostly the original 1995 New York cast and not known as "opera singers," sing with directness and style aptly suited to their roles. The ensemble is comprised of Finnish musicians who feel the music well, and this vigorous, vital recording is conducted by the composer.
Gramophone (2/99, p.94) - "...There are many fine performances here...and tehre is so much strong music that I for one would like to see it live. It's a shame that the booklet gives so little information on the background to the work and that the flat recorded sound lets the piece down so badly..."

Music Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating: Rating 3.4
Based on 16 ratings.
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Product Info:

  • UPC: 075597947328
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item