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Review: ‘Atlas’ needs no words to astonish as the L.A. Phil wraps its centennial season

Mainly, though, “Atlas” had already changed Monk. For the first time in her work, music came first. The cozy Houston production, modest enough to travel to Philadelphia and New York, had its charms, some endearingly goofy. But suddenly Monk, at 48, had become a significant composer. What she accomplished musically in “Atlas” directly led to her becoming, as she is today, an icon of American music.