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.