"The score is opulent, dreamlike, fiercely lyrical, at times shadowy and strange," wrote The New Yorker's Alex Ross, "unlike anything that the 59-year-old composer has written." (The German-language critics, on the other hand, didn't care for it, basically because it wasn't ugly enough.)
Anyone with a good Internet connection and a decent sound card gets a chance to hear for him/herself on Saturday (Feb. 3), as the Italian state broadcaster RAI airs a live recording of the Vienna premiere on its classical channel, Radio Tre. The program begins at 20h00 Central European Time / 2 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time / 1900 hours GMT.
To listen, go to www.radio.rai.it/radio3/ and click on the "<" sign under the legend "ascolta RADIO 3 in diretta" (that's "listen to Radio 3 live") near the top center of the screen.
For those eager to hear A Flowering Tree in person, Adams himself will conduct the San Francisco Symphony in the American premiere performances March 1-3; this summer, he conducts three performances at the Barbican Centre in London August 10-12.