Joshua Kosman reviews the latest Philip Glass:
There's something almost perversely admirable about the consistency with which Philip Glass keeps plowing the same musical acreage. His Sixth Symphony, a massive setting of Allen Ginsberg's "Plutonian Ode," presses his trademark arpeggios and two-against-three rhythms into slightly new shape as a lusty protest march.
Commenting on an interview with the composer, M. Keiser wishes Glass could escape the constraints of his style:
Glass realizes this. He said in the interview that he's been trying to escape his own compositional processes, and when faced with the reality of the sameness of his output- "its humbling" he says..... I'd say.
"This work is based on a poem of Allen Ginsberg called Plutonian Ode. Allen and I had devised a number of works for performance to-gether [including Hydrogen Jukebox] and this was something that we intended to do. Alan died too soon for us even to begin working on the work. After his death in 1997, I waited a number of years and finally de-cided to finish it. I decided to make it into a work for voice and orchestra. My original idea was a work for piano and narrator, but with him gone no one really reads poetry the way he did, so I went in a different direction altogether and wrote for soprano and orchestra."