Performance Today

with host Fred Child

Meister Eckhardt and Quackie

In 1985, composer John Adams had a daughter named Emily, but he and his wife nicknamed her "Quackie." One night, Adams dreamed that Quackie was riding on the shoulder of mediaeval mystic Meister Eckhardt, and as they floated through the night sky, she whispered in the master's ear, sharing the secret of grace. That dream inspired an ethereal movement called "Meister Eckhardt and Quackie" in Adams' 1985 piece, Harmonielehre. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra plays it, in concert at the Concertgebouw, in Amsterdam. In a similar vein, Samuel Barber was inspired by a made-up phrase in James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake." Barber's "Fadograph of a Yestern Scene" is a nostalgic look back, a wonderfully reflective and rarely played gem of American music. Our concert performance is by the Polish National Radio Symphony.