Adams chose a solo trumpet to sail above the sea of murmuring sounds. The trumpet recalls Ives' asker of the Unanswered Question, but this trumpet is surrounded by noisier "silence." We say a trumpet "calls," and for that reason, this sad trumpet well expresses the futile summoning of these notices.
For years I've had this gnat buzzing around inside my head: why is it that every time I hear the ethereal opening chords of Ives's The Unanswered Question, my brain involuntarily adds a completely incongruous, thumping, techno bass drum line?
I'll hear On the Transmigration of Souls next month, when my year-long Adams sabbatical ends. Actually, I am thinking of working my way through the composer's work, oldest to newest, so it may not be next month.
Not everyone liked it, but I thought Run Lola Run was a great movie and the soundtrack was good. But, I'm probably better off if I don't listen to it right now since I don't want to link it in my mind with Ives' greatest piece. Interesting (to me anyway) that my listening habits are starting to be based on denial. Now that I think about it, earlier this evening, I skipped over the Detroit Chamber Winds version of The Unanswered Question; I just wasn't in the mood. Although tonight, I did go on to hear John Cage's The Seasons, Daughter of the Lonesome Isle, and In the Name of the Holocaust. Not exactly light-hearted fair but uplifting in some imponderable way.
Justin Oser (from Oakland) reviews Margaret Leng Tan's Cage CD on Amazon:
I can scarcely imagine better versions of these wonderful piano pieces. The pieces span a variety of types of pianos (prepared piano, toy piano, regular piano, bowed piano) and moods.