French composer, critic and teacher Adolphe Adam was born in Paris on 24 July 1803. His father, the Alsatian composer and Paris Conservatoire professor Jean-Louis Adam, didn't wand Adolphe to take up music professionally, but his son studied secretly with Ferdinand Hérold. Eventually his father relented, and Adolphe was able to study organ and harmonium at the Paris Conservatoire. He was able to make most of his living by playing the organ.
Adolphe Adam, best remembered for his ballets Giselle and Le corsaire, his opera Si j'étais roi and his Christmas carol Minuit, chrétiens! ('O Holy Night'), died in Paris on 3 May 1856, aged fifty-two.
CD Spotlight. A More Advanced Creed - Adolphe Adam's ballet 'Orfa', passionately recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... really arresting playing full of joy and rhythmic beauty.'
Ensemble. In Honour of Carla Fracci - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Adolphe Adam's 'Giselle' at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
CD Spotlight. The Magic of Ballets Russes - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Warner Classics' box set. '... a gem which should be on the shelves of all those interested in the music of the early decades of the twentieth century ...'
Ensemble. Merging Scores with Care - Giuseppe Pennisi enjoys the ballet 'Il Corsaro'
CD Spotlight. A Catalogue of Dreams - Gerald Fenech listens to Adolphe Adam's ballet 'La jolie fille de Gand'. 'Andrew Mogrelia and his Queensland ensemble play with real gusto, and the music is made to sound less lightweight than it really is.'
Ensemble. Nicely Contrasted - Mike Wheeler listens to Christmas music from Derby Bach Choir, Derventio Brass and Old Vicarage School Choir
CD Spotlight. A True Rarity - Adolphe Adam's ballet 'La filleule des fées', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... brilliant orchestration, some knock-out tunes and an abundance of rhythmic energy.'
CD Spotlight. History of an Ancient Town - Music by Paul Hindemith, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'This excellent disc has strong performances by orchestra, chorus and vocal soloists.'
CD Spotlight. A Unique Snapshot - French music for Christmas, sung in Oxford by a Cambridge choir, heard by Keith Bramich. '... Christmas music, much of it well-known in Britain, sung in French in various original and unusual versions ...'
CD Spotlight. Joy and Wonder - Merton College Oxford's new Christmas CD, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'The singing is not only exquisite but has that sense of magic and glory that instills in one's spirit a genuine feeling of hope for a true fraternal love among all men.'
Ensemble. Very Special - Christmas music in Rome impresses Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Two Ballets - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences a new dance in Rome
Ensemble. A Pleasant Change - Derby Choral Union's Christmas Concert, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Sweet and Sour - Adolphe Adam's 'Giselle', reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Very Impressive - Christmas music from the Brass Band of Battle Creek, recommended by Keith Bramich. '... bewitchingly subtle touches of colour ...'
CD Spotlight. Meltingly Beautiful - Christmas music from the Vasari Singers, unstintingly recommended by Howard Smith. '... exemplary radiant style and élan ...'
Ensemble. Very Juicy - Summer Opera in Rome, enjoyed by Giuseppe Pennisi
DVD Spotlight. A Virtuoso Performance - Adolphe Adam's 'Giselle', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... irresistible appeal'
Ensemble. Opulently Staged - Donizetti's 'Lucia di Lammermoor', reviewed by Maria Nockin