Public Wisdom

The 2004 Nonesuch CD notes of the 2002 recording of John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls reproduces a 2003 Atlantic Monthly essay by David Schiff which concludes thus:

In the months that followed the catastrophe, 9/11 became a source more of civic pride than of nationalism. The heroes were policemen and firemen, not soldiers; a mayor, not a president. The names read on television and the short biographies in the Times reminded New Yorkers of their diversity and their commonality. In Transmigration, Adams breaks down the divide between the high-bourgeois culture that created orchestras like the New York Philharmonic (and the repertory they play) in the nineteenth century and the mass culture that took its place in the twentieth. He has created a music that mirrors and exalts the public wisdom.
To learn more about the composition and the composer, visit

And so for day 714