Mstation Classical Reviews

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Mon, 20 Dec 2004

Philip Glass, Symphonies 2 and 3

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop
LP, Naxos

It seems extraordinary that a society that could produce, nurture,
and give some success to Philip Glass might also be the same
place that voted in the neandrathal personage of George W. Bush as
president. Personally I'm not at all sure that he's real at all.
He seems more like a cobbled together series of images to serve
as a front for venality. You heard it here first -- the moon landings
and now the actual president! Alright, enough of that lunacy but
I suppose it is useful to remind ourselves of the USA of Philip
Glass and that not all Americans see justice at the wrong end of
a gun, just as not all Iraqis are murderous vermin who torture
and kill middle-aged female charity workers. 

Philip Glass is much loved for his symphonic music and also
for theme music such as for the cult film Koyaanasquatsi (which I've most
likely spelt wrong). Symphony No. 2 was commisioned by the Brooklyn
Academy of Music and was first performed there in 1994. 

The Third Symphony followed in the next year and was commisioned by
the Wurth Foundation for the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and they
performed it first in Kunzelsau, Germany.

It's easy to see why Philip Glass is valued. The hypnotic swirls
of these pieces, while not being as spacey as the film music, are
human brain freindly in that look-at-me pedagogy is left out in
favour of skill and craft with orchestral textures.
(Count K)

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