John Adams (b.1947)

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Episodes

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012007020520070820

Donald Macleod talks to John Adams about his early years as a composer in 1970s California.

Shaker Loops Part 1 (Shaking and Trembling)

Orchestra of St Luke's

John Adams (conductor)

Harmonium

San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

Christian Zeal and Activity

San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

Edo de Waart (conductor).

022007020620070821

Donald Macleod talks to John Adams about his work during the 1980s.

It was a time of gathering momentum for the composer, despite being a dissenting voice against the prevailing political wind.

His music evolved beyond the orthodoxies of minimalism that had influenced his earlier works, and he consolidated his position as one of America's most enterprising young composers.

The Chairman Dances

San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

Edo de Waart (conductor)

Nixon in China (Act 2, scene 1)

Pat Nixon....Carolann Pade (soprano)

Orchestra of St Luke's

The Wound-Dresser

Sanford Sylvan (baritone)

John Adams (conductor)

Grand Pianola Music (3rd mvt: On the Dominant Divide)

London Sinfonietta

It was a time of gathering momentum for Adams, despite being a dissenting voice against the prevailing political wind.

Nixon in China (excerpt from Act II Scene 1)

Carolann Pade (soprano, Pat Nixon)

Grand Pianola Music Part 3 (On the Dominant Divide)

032007020720070822

Donald Macleod talks to John Adams about the 1990s, a controversial decade for the composer.

As the first Gulf war flared up, his opera The Death of Klinghoffer was staged, but it was also a time when his work developed a rich lyrical and melodic vein in works such as his Violin Concerto.

The Death of Klinghoffer (excerpts)

Leon Klinghoffer....Sanford Sylvan (baritone)

Orchestra of Lyon Opera

London Opera Chorus

Kent Nagano (conductor)

Violin Concerto

Leila Josefowicz (violin)

BBC Symphony Orchestra

John Adams (conductor)

Habanera (John's Book of Alleged Dances)

Kronos Quartet.

Sanford Sylvan (baritone, Leon Klinghoffer)

042007020820070823

Donald Macleod's look at the work of John Adams continues through the 1990s, taking in music that draws its inspiration from such influences as Schoenberg, Slonimsky and Nancarrow.

Macleod talks to Adams about the musical direction his work took through this period, and the extent to which the minimalist label is still appropriate.

Chamber Symphony (3rd mvt: Roadrunner)

London Sinfonietta

John Adams (conductor)

Slonimsky's Earbox

Halle Orchestra

Kent Nagano (conductor)

Century Rolls

Emanuel Ax (piano)

Cleveland Orchestra

Christoph von Dohnanyi (conductor).

Chamber Symphony third movement (Roadrunner)

05 LAST2007020920070824

Donald Macleod brings his survey of the music of John Adams up to date, talking to the composer about the strong autobiographical thread running through his later works.

Dharma at Big Sur (1st mvt: A New Day)

Tracy Silverman (electric violin)

BBC Symphony Orchestra

John Adams (conductor)

My Father Knew Charles Ives (1st mvt: Concord)

Bill Houghton (trumpet)

On the Transmigration of Souls

New York Choral Artists

Brooklyn Youth Chorus

New York Philharmonic Orchestra

Lorin Maazel (conductor).

Dharma at Big Sur (first movement: A New Day)

My Father Knew Charles Ives (first movement: Concord)