A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
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GLASS, Philip (b. 1937)

GLASS ESSENTIALS: An 80th Anniversary Tribute [Vinyl]


  • Nicolas Horvath, piano

This compilation celebrates Philip Glass’ 80th birthday through his unique contribution to the solo piano repertoire. It features a selection of the intricately melodic Etudes which are both technique-expanding and intimately personal statements. Glass’ importance as a film composer is shown in two excerpts from the BAFTA-winning score for The Hours, and Metamorphosis Two which derives from music for the 1988 film The Thin Blue Line. The only transcription Glass is known to have made, of Paul Simon’s The Sound of Silence, is heard in its only recording. Music in Fifths – which Steve Reich called “like a freight train” – dates from his experimental years and is full of a mesmerising variety of pulse patterns.

Tracklist

Glass, Philip
1
Etudes, Book 1: Etude No. 6 (1996) (00:03:15)
3
Metamorphosis II (1988) (00:07:15)
4
A Secret Solo (1977) (00:02:07)
Simon, Paul
5
The Sound of Silence (arr. P. Glass for piano) (2007) (00:03:24)
Glass, Philip
 
Etudes, Book 2 (2013) (00:45:00 )
6
Etude No. 16 (00:04:59)
7
Etude No. 18 (00:03:14)
8
Etude No. 20 (00:06:41)
9
Music in Fifths (1969) (00:05:59)
 
The Hours (arr. M. Riesman and N. Muhly for piano) (2002) (00:47:22 )
2
The Hours: Morning Passages (arr. M. Riesman and N. Muhly for piano) (00:05:06)
10
The Hours: Choosing Life (arr. M. Riesman and N. Muhly for piano) (00:03:44)
Total Time: 00:45:44

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

Audiophile Audition

“Glass Essentials – An 80th Anniversary Tribute is a fitting tribute to a musical icon. The music is complex, accessible and performed with technical mastery.” – Audiophile Audition

“this compilation...stands out for its rarity and refinement. ” – El Nuevo Herald