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GLASS, Philip (b. 1937)

GLASSWORLDS • 3: THE METAMORPHOSIS


  • Nicolas Horvath, piano

This program reverses time, revealing the Metamorphosis in Glass’s work from his 1980s film and theatre transcriptions, through The Olympian composed for the Los Angeles Olympiad, to rarities such as the dreamlike Coda. The Trilogy Sonata highlights Glass’s renowned operas from the celebratory Akhnaten Dance to the stately Satyagraha and landmark Einstein on the Beach. The dazzling pulse-patterns of Two Pages make it a milestone of minimalism, while the Sonatina No. 2 is a pre-minimalist work composed under the influence of Darius Milhaud.

Tracklist

1
Metamorphosis I (1988) (00:07:17)
2
Metamorphosis II (1988) (00:07:15)
3
Metamorphosis III (1988) (00:03:29)
4
Metamorphosis IV (1988) (00:09:57)
5
Metamorphosis V (1988) (00:06:00)
6
The Olympian - Lighting of the Torch and Closing (version for piano) (1984) (00:03:23)
8
The Late, Great Johnny Ace: Coda (1982) * (00:02:01)
10
A Secret Solo (1977) * (00:02:07)
 
Trilogy Sonata (arr. P. Barnes for piano) (2000) (00:01:00 )
7
III. Akhnaten, Act II Scene 3: Dance (00:05:06)
9
II. Satyagraha, Act III: Conclusion (00:08:39)
11
I. Einstein on the Beach: Knee Play No. 4 (00:06:08)
12
Two Pages (1969) (00:12:50)
13
Piano Sonatina No. 2 (1959) * (00:02:51)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:17:03

The Artist

Horvath, Nicolas Recognised as a leading interpreter of Liszt’s music, Nicolas Horvath has in recent years become one of the most sought-after pianists of his generation. Holder of a number of awards, including first prize of the Scriabin and the Luigi Nono International Competitions, he frequently organizes events and concerts of unusual length, sometimes over twelve hours, such as Philip Glass’ complete piano music or Erik Satie’s Vexations, and composers from a number of countries have written for him. Nicolas Horvath is a Steinway artist.

The Composer

Philip Glass (b. 1937) discovered “modern” music while working as a teenager in his father’s Baltimore record shop. When he graduated with a master’s degree in composition from Juilliard in 1962, he had studied with William Bergsma, Vincent Persichetti and Darius Milhaud. His early works subscribed to the twelve-tone system and other advanced techniques. But in spite of some success (including a BMI Award and a Ford Foundation Grant), he grew increasingly dissatisfied with his music. “I had reached a kind of dead end. I just didn’t believe in my music anymore,” he said. A 1964 Fulbright Scholarship brought him to Paris, where he studied with Nadia Boulanger and met Ravi Shankar, the Indian sitar virtuoso. In their different ways, those two individuals transformed his work. Boulanger, in his words, “completely remade my technique,” and Shankar introduced him to “a whole different tradition of music that I knew nothing about.” He rejected his previous concepts and developed a system in which the modular form and repetitive structure of Indian music were wedded to traditional Western ideas of melody and simple triadic harmony.

After returning to the United States in 1967, he formed the Philip Glass Ensemble: three saxophonists (doubling on flutes), three keyboard players (including himself), a singer and a sound engineer. Embraced by the progressive art and theatrical community in New York City during the early 1970s, the Ensemble performed in art galleries, artist lofts and museum spaces rather than traditional performing art centres. It soon began to tour and make recordings, providing Glass with a stage on which to première and promote his ever-growing catalogue of works. It established him as a contemporary voice with something personal and thought-provoking to say, and since those heady early days he has never looked back. Although he has sometimes been labelled a “minimalist” along with composers such as Steve Reich and Terry Riley, Glass rejects the term.

Reviews

“…performances are fine and demonstrate as always Horvath’s intense, almost romantic expressive choices for the music. Glass’s music benefits from this approach very nicely.” – American Record Guide

“Young pianist Nicolas Horvath has a very impressive reputation as a Liszt interpreter. …At the keyboard he extracts thematic material from the rotating structures that Glass sets spinning like so many Buddhist prayer wheels. In doing so he compels the listener to experience the music more melodically than its hypnotic patterns might otherwise allow. This kind of versatility makes Horvath a compelling interpreter and presents the repertoire in a deeply engaging and listenable way.” – The WholeNote

“This Nicolas Horvath program reverses time, revealing the metamorphosis in Glass’s work from his 1980s film and theatre transcriptions, through The Olympian composed for the Los Angeles Olympiad, to rarities such as the dream-like Coda.” – Midwest Tape