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I'm just back from the Philip Glass Ensemble's rare performance of Music in Twelve Parts at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco.
I had some trepidation about this, after my experience finally hearing Glass' Akhnaten by the Oakland Opera several years ago. While that performance was excellent, it confirmed my belief that the first act was stellar but the rest of the opera tails off in quality.
Since I liked most but not all of Music in Twelve Parts, I wondered if I would, after hearing the whole work live and suffering through the weaker moments, end up downgrading my overall opinion of it as one of the composer's best. Alas, this was a false worry and the piece, all four hours or so (plus an hour break for dinner), proved more sophisticated and pleasurable than I expected.
Keith Potter in Four Musical Minimalists makes it clear this piece is really post-minimalist:
More thoughts later...