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Morning Concert:
John Adams: Harmonium

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 67 min
Event Type: Interview and Music Program Origin: KPFA

One of the big hits of the 1980-81 San Francisco Symphony season was the world premiere of “Harmonium”, a work by Bay Area composer John Adams. Adams is a Harvard graduate, and at the time of this recording was a member of the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His settings of poems by John Donne (“Negative Love”) and Emily Dickinson (“Because I Could Not Stop For Death” & “Wild Nights”) for chorus and full orchestra set a new direction for the course of repetitive (or minimal) music, a style initiated by Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Phil Glass, and LaMonte Young. The impulsive energy of the performances, led by Maestro Edo de Waart, are brilliantly captured in this recording made at Davies Symphony Hall on April 17, 1981 by KQED engineer Fred Krock. Also in this program, Adams talks with Charles Amirkhanian about his music as well as his work with the San Francisco Symphony’s New and Unusual Music series, which he directed, and which was about to launch its second season, the recordings of which are also available on radiOM.org. (from KPFA Folio)

Musical Selections:  Phrygian Gates [excerpt] (1977) / John Adams -- [Unidentified musical excerpt] -- Harmonium [excerpt, texts by John Donne and Emily Dickinson] (1980-81) / John Adams
Performers:  Mack McCray, piano (Phrygian Gates)
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (Harmonium)
Edo de Waart, conductor (Harmonium)
San Francisco Symphony Chorus (Harmonium)
Louis Magor, conductor, (Harmonium)
Genres:  New Music; Minimalism
Subject:  Adams, John, 1947-; New music; Minimal music; Piano music; Composition (Music); Choruses, Secular (Mixed voices) with orchestra
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Adams, John, 1947-; McCray, Mack; Waart, Edo de; Magor, Louis ; Donne, John, 1572-1631; Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886
Recording Date:  10/30/1981
First Broadcast Date:  10/30/1981
 
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