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- Batter My Heart from Doctor Atomic.Right there, above here, is my favorite Adams piece simply for its emotion. You should listen to it before you even start to judge from the Name alone. John Adams is a living, breathing, successful, ridiculed American composer. His music battled serialism and promoted expression in music with the use of independent line and a minimalist approach. It's not about rules, it's about breaking them just like the other 20th century composers did to obtain an effect... Now. This is the ultimate question in music in this day and age... Where does Minimalism fit? Personally? I LOVE John Adams and he is NOT a minimalist composer. But, others put him in that category, which is why this topic has been brought up. What separates him from Minimalism and what makes him unique from that style. Is he brilliant? Or, is he just another composer who hashes out random, meaningless melodies with mostly orchestral color? Or, is the fact that his music is so environmental make him a genius? These are all things to consider. If you DON'T know him, I suggest reading a bit about him here: http://www.earbox.com/biography.html Then, listening to some key works: - On the Transmigration of Souls. This is his Pulitzer piece... It's not my favorite, but an important one for a discussion on Adams' technique. - Phrygian Gates. Just ONE of his piano pieces that are BEAUTIFUL. The way is subtly mixes harmonies is the way Philip Glass SHOULD have composed. ;) This is where his minimalist side comes out the most. - The Death of Klinghoffer previews: Her song is SO emotional and beautiful. - The Night Chorus from Death of Kling. is very good. It shows off his sense of "beat" and power in a choir. Not the best recording of it, but still a nice exposure. - A little bit from his famous opera Nixon in China. - of course an excerpt from Dharma at Big Sur. He has a lot of Eastern influences in this piece, apropos to the title, of course. - a String Quartet movement that would put Corigliano in his graveeee. haha. jkjk, but really, it's genius stuff here. John has a knack for orchestration, so give him limited instruments and he goes CRAZY. - China Gates, some more avant garde of his stuff. :DFeel free to search around Youtube for more deliciousness. He has MANY compositions that are simply breathtaking. But, a lot of people don't find them enjoyable and they call him a cop out or a "minimalist". But, in my opinion, and in his too, his music is so incredibly complex, that minimalism is almost an insult rather than a complement. Now, others will argue that it means he takes very limited material and does a lot of complicated stuff with it... you decide and tell me what you feel about John Adams, the American Composer.