CDs and Downloads

Here are a collection of CD and digital releases featuring the music and performances of James Adler.

A Winter Triptych

This delightful setting of three traditional carols is performed by the Judson Memorial Church Choir, under the direction of Henco Espag with soloists Eric Oliver and Jessica Pruett-Barnett. The three carols — “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen”, “Wassail Song”, and “Sleep, Sleep My Little Child” — are sung with harp and horn in F accompaniment; the horn and harp also share a beautiful interlude.

A Winter Tryptich [has] sophisticated counterpoint and idiomatic use of instrumental accompaniment. — Kenneth Herman, The Los Angeles Times
Revisited in an original and refined way by the American composer— Kathodik

Homages & Remembrances

Compelled by the passing of his older brother, Norman, who originally encouraged his musical studies, Mr. Adler put together this musical program with the idea of remembering the past in mind. He has included his own composition for his brother, Elegy for Norman, a treasured Debussy score that belonged to his brother, as well as pieces connected to other important personages in his life: Paul Turok’s Passacaglia, Henco Espag’s Herinneringe, Mozart’s Piano Sonata in D Major, K. 311, and Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

James Adler plays in an incredibly imaginative way…He succeeds in creating a truly exciting and fascinating interpretation…We could give our readers more details, but the best thing is to listen to the recording. — Pizzicato
An artfully constructed program, admirably performed. I will return to this disc with pleasure. — Ken Meltzer, Fanfare
Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’…gets an absolutely first-rate rendition here… he grasps the essence of each miniature and presents it with skill and refinement. — Infodad
I was especially taken with [Adler’s] Mozart…allowing him to draw out lovely phrasing that highlights the haunting counterpoint in the score. — Peter Burwasser, Fanfare
Adler’s [‘Elegy for Norman’], which is for flute (played by Cain-Oscar Bergeron) and piano, is gentle and rather sweet. — Infodad


Introspections explores the introspective and retrospective side of James Adler. This CD features works by James Adler: the President’s Own United States Marine Corps Chamber Orchestra performs Suite Moderne for Strings, cellist Eugene Moye and oboist Virgina Brewer perform Suite for Michael, tenor saxophonist David R. Babich performs Twisted Tango, and flutist Cain-Oscar Bergeron performs Six Little Variations on Noel Ancien, Also featured are several works written for Mr. Adler: Kevin Cummines’ Three Works for James Adler, selections from Seth Bedford’s Three Postcards for Piano, and Paul Turok’s Clarinet Sonata with clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein. The CD concludes with the song-cycle 3 Introspections with music by James Adler, Lyric by David Cote, and performed with baritone Malcolm J. Merriweather and oboist Virginia Brewer.

A simple, accessible approach to music is held up by continual invention and development of ideas melodic and rhythmic. — American Record Guide
Adler is a sensitive man who uses music to go beyond the small human feelings that sometimes unwittingly determine our own lives. — Sonograma
I truly enjoyed the poignant and lovely Psalm for Michael…a truly touching work. — Audiophile Audition
…loves the sinuous polyphony of “Psalm for Michael” and “3 Introspections” as well as the “Piazzolliano” “Twisted Tango.” The language is mostly tonal, formally impeccable and expressively concentrated. — Kathodik

James Adler & Friends

Ravello Records releases James Adler & Friends, a compilation of work by James Adler, Seth Bedford, Franz Liszt, Leo Ornstein, and Paul Turok. Tracing Mr. Adler’s music roots, the CD includes two pieces specifically composed for him: Seth Bedford’s Christopher Street Rag and Paul Turkok’s Tango for James Adler. Two collaborative works are included: Reverie, Interrupted for Tenor Saxophone and Piano (with Jordan P. Smith, Tenor Saxophone) and A Song of the Road (with Malcolm J. Merriweather, Baritone). Also highlighting the disc are two new works for solo piano: Fantasy on a Medieval Theme and Piano Fantasy on “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd”, both of which are influenced by Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 1, which is also included.

“James Adler & Friends,” the eagerly-anticipated CD on PARMA Records’ Ravello Records label…. is a must-have for serious collectors of classical music.” — Bruce-Michael Gelbert, [Q]OnStage, March 2013
It’s a masterful job. My Dad’s Scherzino was just right.” — Severo Ornstein, March 2013
“I think in many ways James Adler represents the consummate Yamaha Artist, a Musician’s Musician.” — Bonnie Barrett, Director of Yamaha Artist Services, April 2013

James Adler plays Syncopated Rhythms

Music by Adler, Antheil, Copland, Gershwin, Gottschalk, Joplin, Menotti, and Ornstein.
Released April 2008, Albany Records

See Mr. Adler perform music from the CD on our performance archive page, including: James Adler’s Two Dances in One; Aaron Copland’s Hoedown from Rodeo; and Leo Ornstein’s Nine Miniatures for Piano.

We enjoyed it a great deal; you’re clearly a fine pianist and your treatment of Dad’s pieces is lovely and sensitive. — Severo Ornstein, May 2008
This CD is a find for those who are fascinated by obscure byways of American piano music; much heard here is not, as far as I know, available elsewhere — Scott Morrison,

Memento mori: An AIDS Requiem

Composed by James Adler
Performed by the AmorArtis Chorale & Orchestra, Victoria Livengood, mezzo, Jane Dutton, soprano, Maire O’Brien, soprano, Steve Huffines, baritone, Neil Farrell, tenor, Johannes Somary, conductor

Memento Mori is an oratorio for soloists, men’s chorus and chamber orchestra; a requiem dedicated to those who have succumbed to AIDS. The work combines traditional English, Hebrew, and Latin texts with original prose and poetry by Quentin Crisp, Philip Justin Smith, Denise Stokes, and Bill Weaver.

Adler writes for both chorus and orchestra with uncommon imagination. — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A unique, well-crafted, emotionally rich piece. — American Record Guide
Affecting, even harrowing, this is one of the most successful large-scale musical works to consider those who have died of AIDS. — Musicmatch

Reflections upon a September morn

Reflections upon a September morn features poetry by Walt Whitman and is the composers remembrance of the events of 9/11. Featuring Kate Maroney, mezzo-soprano; Virginia Brewer, oboe and English horn; and James Adler, piano, this 8-minute work is released by Albany Records as a digital single available for download only.

Employing words from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” from “Leaves of Grass,” that, though written a century-and-a-half earlier, sound hauntingly prescient in their pertinence to the present-day disaster…As set by Adler, Whitman’s lines—“I am the mash’d fireman with breast-bone broken,/Tumbling walls buried me in their debris,/Heat and smoke I inspired, I heard the yelling shouts of my comrades,/I heard the distant click of their picks and shovels,/They have clear’d the beams away, they tenderly lift me forth”—resonate chillingly anew in the recording. — Bruce-Michael Gelbert, [Q]
The performance is wonderful; Kate Moroney sings with fervor, Virginia Brewer and James Adler accompany brilliantly. The whole is recommended, a fine, moving piece. — Paul Turok, Turok’s Choice

Reverie, Interrupted

Reverie, Interrupted for tenor saxophone and piano is featured on Parma Recording’s album Sculpting the Air: Modern Works for Wind Instruments, with Jordan P. Smith, tenor saxophone, and James Adler, piano.

Adler’s piece is reminiscent of Barber; it is well written for both saxophone and piano. — Paul Turok, Turok’s Choice, August 4, 2011.
Adler’s style here offers lyricism with edge — Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill
This is a very nice jazz- inflected work that meanders in and out of the lyrical and the buoyant; all supported by a very neat noir-like piano part. — Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition