John Luther Adams: Become Ocean
Label: Cantaloupe Music
The symphonic essay that won Adams his Pulitzer Prize is also the smart commission that helped the Seattle Symphony Orchestra receive the national attention it deserves. The ensemble's new music director, Ludovic Morlot, conducts this sweeping, post-minimalist piece expertly: He has as much fun reveling in its subtle harmonic changes as he does shaping its grand "tsunami" climaxes. Those peaks of intensity represent global-warming tidal waves, and they come every 15 minutes or so in this ravishing piece.