- Picture Studies, for orchestra
- American Symphony, for orchestra
- Finding Rothko, for chamber orchestra
The American composer Adam Schoenberg, unrelated to either Arnold Schoenberg or Claude-Michel Schönberg, has enjoyed great success with well-orchestrated pieces, tailor-made for the major American symphony orchestras. His music is instantly accessible, but it does not lay on sentimentality, and it's elegantly built from simple structures that evoke extramusical ideas effectively. Arguably he hit his stride best in his first major work, "Finding Rothko," which is included on this album by the Kansas City Symphony under Michael Stern. The album makes an excellent place to start with Schoenberg if you've been curious about him. Also inspired by visual art are the "Picture Studies," most of which refer to paintings in Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Sample the 41-second Interlude, which puts a fragment of Bartókian melody through a quite rigorous little series of orchestral transformations. If you're thinking Schoenberg may be the young American composer to pick up the mantle of Michael Daugherty, this release will lend support to your belief.