In Pruning the List (April 21), I suggested Glass’s Einstein on the Beach as the composition that had the most widespread, immediate influence on American music in the 1970s. Nobody has suggested an alternative, so EOTB gets the nod by negative acclamation.
Now to the 1980s. With this post, the original list gets knocked off of this page and into the archives, so you can access it here if you want to refresh your memory. I’m looking for suggestions as to which work from the 1980s had the most powerful impact on American composers of the time, the piece that made the most composers reconsider what was possible. Not necessarily the best piece, but the piece that, through a combination of inspiration, prominence and luck had the most widespread, immediate influence.
My vote goes to John Adams Harmonielehre. Runners-up (in chronological order) are Glass Satyagraha, Gubaidulina Offetorium, Anderson O Superman, Reich Tehillim, Reich The Desert Music and Andriessen De Stijl.
What do you think?