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GLASS, Philip (b. 1937)

GLASSWORLDS • 4: ON LOVE

THE HOURS • MODERN LOVE WALTZ • NOTES ON A SCANDAL • MUSIC IN FIFTHS


  • Nicolas Horvath, piano

This volume focuses on love, one of Philip Glass’ most glorious themes. The timeless melancholy of his BAFTA award-winning music for The Hours forms an organic suite driven by the film’s three powerful characters, here complete with three unpublished movements. The breathtakingly energetic Modern Love Waltz expands the limits of minimalism by combining Glass’s style with Viennese dance tradition, while his transcription of Notes on a Scandal is a recording première. Steve Reich described the iconic Music in Fifths as being “like a freight train”.

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Tracklist

 
The Hours (arr. M. Riesman and N. Muhly for piano) (2002) (00:47:22 )
1
The Poet Acts (00:03:20)
2
Morning Passages (00:05:06)
3
Something She Has to Do (00:02:55)
4
For Your Own Benefit (00:01:55)
5
Vanessa and the Changelings (00:01:29)
6
I'm Going to Make a Cake (00:03:02)
7
An Unwelcome Friend (00:04:17)
8
Dead Things (00:02:49)
9
The Kiss (00:03:37)
10
Why Does Someone Have to Die? (00:03:05)
11
Tearing Herself Away (00:03:20)
12
Escape! (00:03:08)
13
Choosing Life (00:03:44)
14
The Hours (00:05:35)
15
Modern Love Waltz (1977) (00:03:36)
16
Notes on a Scandal: The Harts - I Knew Her (version for piano) (2006) * (00:04:15)
17
Music in Fifths (1969) (00:05:59)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:01:12

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

“As performed by acclaimed pianist Nicholas Horvath, these works are evocative, cinematic and filled with a pathos that defies easy definition.” – Scene Magazine

International Piano

“Horvath’s playing, always unhurried, ensures that the desolation of ‘Why does someone have to die’ emerges as the emotional hub. It is fascinating to hear Glass’s take on Viennese Waltz (the 1977 Modern Love Waltz); and to have the world premiere of the composer’s own 2007 transcription of Notes on a Scandal, a fascinating, enigmatic piece. …Horvath brings an unremittingly hard touch to the hypnotic Music in Fifths. Glass enthusiasts need not hesitate.” – International Piano

“Production values are very good: the Fazioli piano sounds quite beautiful, and the notes are informative…I will certainly be seeking out the earlier releases in this series.” – MusicWeb International

Klassiek Centraal

“Highly recommended.” – Klassiek Centraal