Monday, November 21, 2011

Philip Glass



Philip Glass remains the foremost exponent of that rather amorphous category of modern classical music known as minimalism. However, Glass’s fundamental style does differ from other minimalist composers like John Adams and Steve Reich: instead of wanton experimentalism, he prefers to work with seemingly repeating, yet slowly developing, patterns, building up from a single compositional idea with processes like note additions and evolving time signatures. This makes for an understated but mesmerising approach that has resulted in acclaimed and award-winning works like ‘Einstein on the Beach’, ‘Akhnaten’ and the widely celebrated ‘Koyaanisqatsi’, not to mention innumerable soundtracks for films as diverse as ‘Kundun’, ‘The Hours’ and ‘The Illusionist’.

The 2007 compilation ‘Best of Philip Glass’ is a handy double-disc collection that acts as a more or less comprehensive introduction to Glass’s music, although the selections here seem to be randomly arranged, with no regard for chronological or thematic order. However, it’s still worthwhile to go through what’s available here, if only to give the greenhorn an initial sense of what comprises basic Philip Glass.

The tracks on ‘Best of Philip Glass’ can roughly be divided into two separate portions that make up the two main facets of Glass’ music. The instrumental segment takes in works like the cinematic, epic-sized ‘Facades’, the icy, elegant ‘Floe’, the sombre, piano-led ‘Dance 9’ and the deliberately arty, complexly syncopated ‘Rubric’. Mention should also be made of the optimistic, driving ‘A Gentleman’s Honour’, from the ‘Satyagraha’ opera, based on the early life of Mahatma Gandhi and his experiences in South Africa.

On the flip side, the vocal numbers are the more interesting tunes, with choices like the pulsating new wave-influenced ‘Lightning’ (with veteran session vocalist Janice Pendarvis), the pastoral, Douglas Perry-sung ‘Evening Song’, the dramatic ‘Hymn to the Sun’ with famed English countertenor Paul Esswood, and the Egyptian-flavoured ‘Funeral of Amenhotep’ from the ‘Akhnaten’ opera.

In short, ‘Best of Philip Glass’ is a solid, if rather incomplete primer to Philip Glass: for a better overall picture of his music, one is advised to get one of his full-length recordings, which are all still in print. The sort of classical minimalism that constitutes Glass’ stock in trade is certainly not something that can be consumed in bite-sized portions like what has been collected here, despite the best intentions of this primer’s compilers. An inspired, if not exhaustive, retrospective of Glass’s more well-known works, and a terrific inducement to seek out the rest of his extensive, impressive repertoire.

3 Comments:

Blogger ninest123 said...

air max, longchamp, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, burberry, cheap oakley sunglasses, gucci outlet, nike free, ray ban sunglasses, tiffany and co, nike free, tiffany jewelry, air jordan pas cher, oakley sunglasses, uggs on sale, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, jordan shoes, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet, longchamp outlet, nike outlet, prada handbags, michael kors, nike air max, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, chanel handbags, longchamp pas cher, tory burch outlet, sac longchamp, kate spade outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louboutin outlet, christian louboutin outlet, prada outlet, louboutin shoes, replica watches, louis vuitton outlet, nike roshe run, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses, louboutin, polo ralph lauren outlet, ralph lauren pas cher, nike air max, louboutin pas cher, ugg boots

10:18 AM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

michael kors outlet, north face, hogan, abercrombie and fitch, true religion outlet, mulberry, burberry outlet online, hollister, michael kors outlet, air force, kate spade handbags, true religion jeans, ugg boots, vanessa bruno, michael kors outlet, ray ban pas cher, true religion jeans, ralph lauren uk, oakley pas cher, coach outlet, sac guess, vans pas cher, replica handbags, michael kors, converse pas cher, tn pas cher, lacoste pas cher, north face, lululemon, true religion jeans, michael kors, burberry, nike air max, michael kors outlet, coach purses, coach outlet, timberland, nike air max, michael kors, ray ban uk, ugg boots, nike free run uk, nike blazer, nike roshe, nike air max, michael kors, new balance pas cher, michael kors outlet, hermes, hollister pas cher

10:23 AM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

ugg pas cher, moncler, moncler, canada goose, pandora charms, hollister, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, marc jacobs, thomas sabo, sac louis vuitton pas cher, doudoune canada goose, ugg boots uk, louis vuitton, canada goose, moncler, pandora charms, karen millen, canada goose outlet, moncler, bottes ugg, juicy couture outlet, replica watches, supra shoes, pandora jewelry, moncler outlet, montre pas cher, louis vuitton, swarovski crystal, canada goose outlet, swarovski, toms shoes, pandora jewelry, moncler, wedding dresses, canada goose, moncler, canada goose uk, louis vuitton, moncler, canada goose, links of london, louis vuitton, coach outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, juicy couture outlet

10:30 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home