I Am Love (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)
The American composer John Adams is no stranger to music that helps tell a story: he’s written a number of successful operas, including Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, and Doctor Atomic. And many of Adams’ instrumental compositions also have a powerful sense of dramatic development. So it’s no surprise that the Italian director Luca Guadagnino decided to use pre-existing works by the composer for the soundtrack to his film, I Am Love. Set in an upper-class milieu, the movie portrays the passions that disrupt the lives of its characters. One of the soundtrack’s highlights finds Edo de Waart leading the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in a nice rendering of The Chairman Dances (Foxtrot for Orchestra), a piece with propulsive drive. The album also includes “Loops and Verses,” from the 1978 composition Shaker Loops, with Adams conducting the Orchestra of Saint Luke’s. The track displays the composer’s skill at wedding minimalism and romanticism to achieve a sense of forward motion, a strategy different than the ecstatic stasis of his minimalist predecessor Terry Riley.