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My Father's Song

Duration:
1 hour
First broadcast:
Tuesday 04 September 2012

John Adams's father taught him clarinet and they played together in a local marching band. He mastered the instrument 'almost too quickly', and while studying at Harvard he found work with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Elements of his upbringing were reminiscent of Charles Ives's, who also grew up in New England. Today, Adams talks to Donald Macleod about the influence of Ives on his music, including two works which reference his early life, and a work for choir, orchestra and pre-recorded sounds - On the Transmigration of Souls - written to commemorate the victims of September 11, 2001. Initally uneasy about writing a work in which he was called on to address national mourning, here too he drew inspiration from Ives's work, this time the The Unanswered Question, which Adams describes as a 'quiet spirit behind the piece'.

Music Played

10 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Image for John Adams

    John Adams John's book of alleged dances for string quartet and electronics

    Performer: Kronos Quartet

    NONESUCH, 7559-79485-2

  • Image for John Adams

    John Adams Gnarly buttons for clarinet and ensemble

    Performer: Michael COLLINS - Clarinet

    NONESUCH, 7559-79485-2

  • Image for John Adams

    John Adams My father knew Charles Ives for orchestra

    Conductor: John ADAMS Performer: BBC Symphony Orchestra Performer: Bill Houghton - Trumpet

    NONESUCH, 7559-79857-2

  • Image for John Adams

    John Adams On the transmigration of souls for chorus, children's chorus and orchestra

    Conductor: Lorin Maazel Performer: Brooklyn Youth Chorus Performer: New York Choral Artists Performer: New York Philharmonic Orchestra

    Nonesuch, 7559 79816 2, -1

  • Image for John Adams
    00:00

    John Adams Judah to Ocean

    Nonesuch

  • Image for John Adams
    00:06

    John Adams Gnarly Buttons mvt. 3

    Nonesuch

  • Image for John Adams
    00:33

    John Adams On the Transmigration of Souls

    Nonesuch

  • Image for John Adams
    00:00

    John Adams Judah to Ocean

    Nonesuch

  • Image for John Adams
    00:06

    John Adams Gnarly Buttons mvt. 3

    Nonesuch

  • Image for John Adams
    00:33

    John Adams On the Transmigration of Souls

    Nonesuch

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