And with this work, I've now listened in the last two months to all 396 of my Philip Glass tracks. Actually, I've listened to the best many, many more times so let's call it an even playcount of 500. My overall reaction:
Some but only some of the symphonies were more compelling than I remembered e.g. Symphony No.2 conducted by Marin Alsop.
I like almost all of the early works.
Dracula was the best of the film scores and I no longer like The Thin Blue Line.
Except for the piano works, this is not pretty music but the canon as a whole is surprisingly satisfying.
I have a handful of CDs not yet ripped to MP3. I suspect that the opera Einstein on the Bench, or whatever it is called, might be good. Well, at least the knee plays. Still love the Akhnaten, though.
In the middle of this immersion, I tried to listen to the music of John Adams and it made no sense. One hopes this is a temporary condition.
As I discovered earlier with Steve Reich, this was good music for car commuting.
I had to grow as a person to be able to tolerate A Descent into the Maelstrom.
Modern Love Waltz, as played by Margaret Leng Tan on toy piano, is my current favorite track. Who knew this music could be such fun? (Santa Fe concert program here including a note about Charles M. Schultz).
In a perfect world, Glass would write a piece for piano four hands, to be played by Bruce Brubaker and Alek Karis. Hey, I'll even settle for a six-handed work ...
To the composer, belated happy 70th birthday. To all those musicians who played all those notes, thanks and job well done.
philipglass.com: Gradus is for solo soprano saxophone and is one of the first pieces Glass composed upon his return to New York from his studies with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and work with Ravi Shankar.
Our startup was purchased a couple of months ago, I now commute to North San Jose by car rather than to downtown San Jose by train and I find myself responding more than ever to the repetitive, incessant, urbanist techniques of Philip Glass.
However, the first movement of his String Quartet No. 1 is probably the least representative of his works. Although even here, where the piece is slow and sparse and with no arpeggios in sight, the music nonetheless exhibits a drive and forward focus.
My new pet theory, coming to me as I waited in the Highway 237/101/85 quagmire (tonight anyway), is that Philip Glass, despite his mindful and zen-like behavior, is a guy in a hurry -- in a hurry to get to the end of the piece and in a hurry to compose as much music as he can. This compares to the static approach of say, Phill Niblock.
Regardless, both Phil and Phill like it loud which is probably a sixties thing and makes their music suitable for playing on my commute.
Catching up on a backlog of CD ripping and listening, it's Michael Riesman's piano transcription of Dracula by Philip Glass. The original is more varied than most of the composer's work and this interpretation, despite its lack of timbral variety, conveys some of the excitement one might get from traditional silent film music.
Next up is Carl Stone's Nak Won CD. iTunes classifies its genre as "data."
Napster has opened up their service so that if you register (and are a resident of the US), you can stream for free a large majority of their tracks, up to five times each. Here's Philip Glass' fully streaming album Anima Mundi.
Be prepared for US Navy ads and low fidelity, but still the selection is better than I expected e.g. John Adams' Naive and Sentimental Music or the Smith Quartet playing the first movement of Steve Reich's Different Trains.
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.
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."
As if to emphasize the thoroughness of Glass’s accomplishment, the
Oakland Opera Theater has dropped Cocteau’s film entirely, turning “La
Belle et la Bête” into a stage production. Lovers of the movie will
find no disrespect in the company’s exercise. This is a
three-dimensional homage to Cocteau’s imagination, from the moving
heads in the Beast’s fireplace mantel to the comical rendering of
Last show tomorrow. I hope I don't regret the decision to attend Doctor Atomic twice instead of La Belle et la Bête. Last year's Oakland production of Akhnaten still resonates. Not to compensate but I did buy the Philip Glass : remixed CD today. A first pass indicates it may be better than the Steve Reich remix from 1999.