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Evening Music Spotlights John Adams

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The September 16-21 Evening Music focuses on five major works of John Adams. Here's a preview of what to listen for:

Air Date: Monday, September 16
Piece: Naive and Sentimental Music
Artists: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
Recording: Nonesuch 79636
Don't Miss: The shades of minimalism amidst the lush, sweeping melodies.

Air Date: Tuesday, September 17
Piece: Common Tones in Simple Time
Artists: San Francisco Symphony, Edo de Waart, conductor
Recording: Nonesuch 79144
Don't Miss: Adams's early minimalist style coming into full bloom. This was the first of several pieces Adams wrote as a composer in residence with the San Francisco Symphony during the early 1980s.

Air Date: Wednesday, September 18
Piece: Shaker Loops, for 7 strings or string orchestra
Artists: Orchestra of St. Luke's, John Adams, conductor
Recording: Nonesuch 79360
Don't Miss: This jumbo-sized, high-octane orchestra rendition of a work originally intended for string septet. Some Adams fans still prefer the economy of the smaller-ensemble version, yet this grander account holds plenty of rewards of its own.

Air Date: Thursday, September 19
Piece: Nixon in China, Highlights
Artists: Orchestra of St. Luke's, Edo de Waart, conductor
Recording: Nonesuch 79143
Don't Miss: Stellar performances of an opera that was lambasted at its 1987 premiere for mythologizing Richard Nixon and Mao Tse Tung. "Nixon" helped set off a fad for operas with contemporary subjects, and these days the opera gets nothing but praise.

Air Date: Friday, September 20
Piece: Short Ride in a Fast Machine
Artists: New York Philharmonic, Kurt Masur, conductor
Recording: An American Celebration, Volume 2 (5-CD Box set)
Don't Miss: The New York Philharmonic in one of its most dazzling, energetic moments under the baton of Kurt Masur in 1991.

The above CDs are available on most Internet sources including,, and the Public Radio Music Source, a buying service for recordings.