Hachi Suzume blogs on listening to Reich's Music for 18 Musicians:
If you've never listened to Reich before, then this is the perfect place to start. Listening to his Violin Phase or Piano Phase might be fun for a basic understanding of what minimalist music is trying to accomplish, but 18 musicians is so far some of the most absorbing music I've heard from him.
This reminds me I never responded to the Occam's Razor post about the best work of American classical music. He makes a strong case for Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. I might nominate Music for 18 Musicians. It is innovative, uniquely American in origin, has crossed over to non-classical audiences without sacrificing critical respect, and overall, just has such an appeal.