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Adès: Powder Her Face

Thomas Adès , Jill Gomez , Valdine Anderson , Niall Morris , Almeida Ensemble , Roger Bryson Audio CD
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)


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MP3 Music, 31 Songs, 2006 $18.99  
Audio CD, 1998 --  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I: Overture (Orchestra)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 2:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 1: Nineteen ninety: Oo, aa! ha ha ha ha ha (Maid/Electrician)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 1: Nineteen ninety: I see. This is what it has come toThomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 1: Nineteen ninety: Take it from me (Duchess/Electrician/Maid)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 5:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 1: Nineteen ninety: Interlude (Orchestra)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 1:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 2: Nineteen thirty-four: Of course she's done wellThomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 2:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 2: Nineteen thirty-four: I could never grow bored of dukedoms (Confidante/Lounge Lizard/Duchess)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 1:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 2: Nineteen thirty-four: I hear him coming (Pantomime) (Duchess/Confidante/Lounge Lizard/Duke)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 5:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 2: Nineteen thirty-four: Interlude (Orchestra)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 2:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: Fancy, fancy being rich (Waitress)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 4:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: Interlude - Scene 4: Nineteen fifty-three ...mm...ah!...How may I help you? (Duchess/Laundryman/Other Guest)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: ...mm..ah!...Room service?Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 3:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: What have you got there?Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: Come here (Duchess/Waiter)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 6:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: Interlude (Orchestra)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 2:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 5: Nineteen fifty-three: Is Daddy squiffy?Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 5:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 5: Nineteen fifty-three: Are you saying the Duchess is a whore?Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 4:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 5: Nineteen fifty-three: Ha ha ha ha...(Paper chase) (Mistress/Duke)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 2:18$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, Act II, Scene 6: Nineteen fifty-five: Did she?...Of course she did (Rubberneckers)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 3:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, Act II, Scene 6: Nineteen fifty-five: Order. SilenceThomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 5:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, Act II, Scene 6: Nineteen fifty-five: But now I have heard something new (Judge)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, Act II, Scene 6: Nineteen fifty-five: Did you hear - What he said? (Rubberneckers)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 1:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, Act II, Scene 6: Nineteen fifty-five: So that is all (Duchess/Rubberneckers)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 5:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, Act II, Scene 6: Nineteen fifty-five: Interlude (Orchestra)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 1:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, Act II, Scene 7: Nineteen seventy: I'd like to make one thing entirely clearThomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, Act II, Scene 7: Nineteen seventy: Ah! None left (Duchess/Society Journalist/Delivery Boy)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 4:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, Act II, Scene 7: Nineteen seventy: Interlude Fifty-eight, seventy-nine (Duchess)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 1:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, Act II, Scene 8: Nineteen ninety: Agh - Who are you? (Duchess/Hotel Manager)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 6:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, Act II, Scene 8: Nineteen ninety: That will do. You may go (Duchess)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 4:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, Act II, Scene 8: Nineteen ninety: Broken. It's broken (Duchess/Hotel Manager)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 8:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, Act II, Ghost Epilogue: Enough...Or too much! (Maid/Electrician)Thomas Adès/Jill Gomez/Almeida Ensemble/Valdine Anderson/Niall Morris/Roger Bryson 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 


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Product Details

  • Performer: Jill Gomez, Valdine Anderson, Niall Morris, Almeida Ensemble, Roger Bryson
  • Composer: Thomas Adès
  • Audio CD (November 3, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B00000DFNX
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,644 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Simply put, Thomas Adès's chamber opera Powder Her Face will likely be one of the strongest, most compelling pieces of contemporary music you've heard in a long while. The libretto, at once tragic and savagely funny, is by the acclaimed young English novelist Philip Hensher and addresses a resonantly scandalous topic: the glamor-drenched life and downfall of Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, whose divorce trial in the '50s set benchmark lows for publicizing someone's sex life. Adès's score is a bona fide masterpiece, combining a broad palette of styles and influences, from tango and Cole Porter to Berg's Lulu and mordant atonality, all scored with brilliant invention for an ensemble of 15 musicians (here conducted by the composer). But Adès, born in 1971, succeeds where others have stumbled: he's a true man of the theater, and there's no pastiche in the music, which rises above the level of collage (except for one purposely inserted camp tune) and instead coheres into a seamless, thrusting, witty, highly dramatic whole. The four-member cast, led by Jill Gomez as the Duchess, is right on target. Valdine Anderson portrays a series of mocking antagonists (given high-wire acrobatic vocalisms) who precipitate the downfall, while Niall Morris and Roger Bryson bring engaging variety to their multiple roles as the male figures in the Duchess's world. An event not to be missed. --Pierre Ruhe

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Opera of the future? Hmm... I don't think so January 11, 2000
By Simon
Format:Audio CD
I think it's perfectly possible to have an viewpoint lyingsomewhere in between. I bought it on the basis of a wildlyenthusiastic review in Music Magazine, which mentioned the work in the same breath as the great operas of Berg, Britten et al. Aside from that there was the instrinsic fascination of hearing a work written by a guy who went to the same school as myself, and who was always getting heaps of praise from his school-mates about how brilliant he was (though as a pianist rather than a composer). However, as so often in the case of a promising young `star', I believe this opera has received in many musical quarters the kind of excessive critical appraisal that does neither the work nor the composer any favours. Comparing the work to Wozzeck and the great operas of Britten is hyberbole driven to excess. There are certainly passages of genuine dramatic intensity, but these are rarely sustained and nothing comparable to the horror experienced in Wozzeck; and Ades has yet to acquire Britten's succinct characterisation and direct emotional appeal that makes his operas such great works. To begin with: the libretto. Others may disagree, but in using a semi-biographical story based on the sordid sex life of a beautiful but ultimately tragic aristocrat, Ades encountered from the start an uphill struggle. Surely no one will make the mistake in the future of attempting to write an opera based on Princess Di's failed marriage and untimely death! This inevitably results in a problem piece; a piece too sophisticated and eseoteric in idiom to appeal to the masses in spite of its soap-opera-like plot, but too banal and shallow in places (such as the Noel Coward pastiche) for it to be a great and convincing work of art. The elements of the popular and avant-garde do not for me coalesce. Read more ›
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Bowled Over by This September 23, 2003
Format:Audio CD
When hot new composers are discussed in learned critical circles, one name that frequently appears is Thomas Ades. Ades is a young British composer and pianist who has made quite a stir with his brilliantly orchestrated, eclectic compositions, which feature elements from popular music, but filtered through a strongly modernist prism. Ades has created an impressive resume, with major commissions for full-scale work from around the globe, and has gained such champions as Sir Simon Rattle, who will be performing Ades' orchestral work, Asyla, in his New York debut with the Berlin Philharmonic. Not bad for a young composer only just barely thirty.
Naturally, when a young talent such as this writes an opera, it is considered a major event. Unfortunately, despite the critical praise that Ades has received from some quarters, particularly from noted critic Paul Griffiths, I can't find much to celebrate in Power Her Face. Despite the witty orchestral writing, and some attractive use of tango material, to me, Powder Her Face is mostly devoid of dramatic and musical interest.
The plot of the opera was derived from the life of the Duchess of Argyll, who led a scandalous sexual life, which is depicted rather graphically in the opera, before her downfall in a public trial and ultimately her disgraceful end. Outside of the shock value, I'm not sure what exactly attracted Ades and librettist Phillip Hensher to this subject. The characters in the opera are mere ciphers, not fully realized human beings. If they were going for the alienation techniques of Brecht, they missed one key element in Brecht's aesthetic, the fact that no matter how horrible the characters in a Brecht play, there is a fully drawn human being underneath, one that you end up having sympathy with despite yourself.
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22 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Future Of Modern Opera November 12, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
No opera about a sex-crazed English duchess could be all bad, right? "Powder Her Face" lives up to its rave UK reviews, and then some. Ades has an amazing knack of writing accessible music that is also totally modern. At times strongly reminiscent of Britten, at other times a pastiche of composers like Bartok or Stravinsky, his orchestration is powerful and innovative. To non-opera buffs, or those of a more lowbrow persuasion, the thought will occur: "this is what Frank Zappa could have achieved, if he'd tried a bit harder." The Five Star rating is no exaggeration. Watch for the great sloppy thirties-style ballads, Jill Gomez' excellent singing, and the sly way Ades nods a tribute to pretty much every musical form of the 20th century, while retaining proper operatic forms. Buy it!
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16 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Grating and noisy. December 26, 1999
Format:Audio CD
Of course an opera about a sex-crazed duchess can be bad. But young Thomas Ades' first opera, Powder her Face, is not bad - it's accostic and unlistenable. Speaking as one of the unfortunate contemporary music fans present for the US premiere of this opera, I know for a fact that I do not stand alone when I say that Ades' attempt to set the English language to music, and to sustain a two-act, essentially banal story line fall so far short of all the hype surrounding the performance that one wonders who the composer had to bribe to get his music played in the first place. Not only is his choice of idiom (a transparent and ultimately unsuccessful fusion of popular music and austere modernism) totally unsuited to the words being sung, but the composer's apparent inexperience in orchestration resulted in entire passages where one could not hear the vocal line at all under the dense instrumental writing. Not that you would be able to understand what was being sung even if it weren't. This is a far cry from the future of modern opera, and if some composer years from now finds any of the music written in the latter half of the twentieth century to be influential, I can assure you that Powder Her Face will not part of it. If you're looking for good contemporary opera, I would suggest Harrison Birtwislte's Punch and Judy, Meredith Monk's ATLAS, John Adam's Death of Klinghoffer, or David Amram's The Final Ingredient.
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