Philip Glass Question I Sure Can't Answer

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lennygoran
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Philip Glass Question I Sure Can't Answer

Post by lennygoran » Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:22 pm

Or even understand. Regards, Len

Review: Philip Glass, Easy to Mimic but Hard to Match

By SETH COLTER WALLS DEC. 10, 2017

Is Philip Glass the creator of sprawling grand operas like “Einstein on the Beach,” or intimate, gloomy pieces like the Partita for Cello No. 2?

He’s both, of course, but when another composer is invited to create a piece responding to Mr. Glass’s legacy, you can’t have it both ways. During the American Composers Orchestra’s concert on Friday at Zankel Hall, the Peruvian composer and performer Pauchi Sasaki highlighted Mr. Glass’s theatrical flair in “GAMA XVI.”

Not long after the orchestra started playing the new work’s quiet opening string progressions, Ms. Sasaki appeared at the rear of the audience. Sporting a microphone pinned behind an ear and a “speaker dress” of her own design — built from 100 different audio components — she slowly marched toward the stage. As she approached at a pace Robert Wilson, Mr. Glass’s “Einstein” co-creator, would have appreciated, her high-tech garment stretched her whispered vocalizations into plumes of subtle distortion.

The string writing that accompanied this digital swirl was most memorable when it jumped between stasis and sudden glissando surges. For most of its 10 minutes, “GAMA XVI” recalled the electroacoustic mystery of Pauline Oliveros. But near the end, firmer pulsations were clearer reminders of Mr. Glass, as was a cameo appearance by the violinist Tim Fain, a Glass specialist.

Bryce Dessner’s “Réponse Lutoslawski” had its New York premiere on the same program. The work was commissioned as a response to Witold Lutoslawski’s “Musique Funèbre” (itself a tribute to Bartok). But Mr. Dessner is so steeped in American Minimalism that even a piece referring to a Polish composer took on a Glassian sheen. For stretches, this amalgamation of styles held together uneasily, but toward the end, a blend of ostinato propulsion and astringent harmony created a memorable vibe.

Mr. Glass’s own work was represented by his 2009 Violin Concerto No. 2, subtitled “The American Four Seasons.” This nod to Vivaldi was appropriate for a night of musical responses, but in this case the resemblances between old and new were only passing ones. Mr. Fain was the soloist, and he blazed through some of Mr. Glass’s flashiest riffs with impressive authority. Under the conductor George Manahan, the orchestra maintained a firm grasp on the chugging rhythms.


Despite the strong performance, the concerto itself still felt like a minor entry in this composer’s catalog. Some of its most haunting thematic material bears a close resemblance to scenes from Mr. Glass’s more impressive 2013 opera “The Perfect American,” part of his habit of recycling and rearranging. On Saturday, at Roulette in Brooklyn, the pianists Maki Namekawa and Dennis Russell Davies reveled in a program of Mr. Glass’s piano music, about half of which had been adapted from the composer’s operas.

There wasn’t a single dud in this sparkling concert. A suite from “Les Enfants Terribles” showed how much expressive range these two longtime Glass interpreters can bring to his music, with an intoxicating sense of reverie in “Elizabeth Chooses a Career.”

On Ms. Namekawa and Mr. Davies’s 2005 recording of this suite, the more aggressive movements had a metronomic tinge. On Saturday, that studied feeling was gone, replaced by a booming sound that allowed the music to breathe between peaks of intensity. Their approach to the 2008 piece “Four Movements for Two Pianos” also seems to have taken on greater texture over the years.

The program also included a 2013 miniature, “Stokes,” as well as excerpts from two stage works, “The Voyage” and “Orphée.” The latter, like “Les Enfants Terribles,” was inspired by the work of Jean Cocteau. More than Vivaldi, this French poet and filmmaker can reliably spur Mr. Glass’s harmonic imagination, and his agile humor — the attributes that make him both easy to mimic and difficult to match.


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/10/arts ... ction&_r=0

Belle
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Re: Philip Glass Question I Sure Can't Answer

Post by Belle » Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:34 pm

Th writer of that review has found some excellent words and phrases to describe the Glass experience. It's been hard to nail his music altogether. Though it can be mesmerizing, I do find its repetitious iterations to be both frustrating and tiring. This work is an enjoyable one, though hardly virtuosic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ySGfGr7JsU

Some of the film music of Philip Glass is very good. His style suits the 'atmospherics' of narrative. I used to own this CD of dance music but I gave away it to my daughter. Dance X111 is the best of the pieces on offer here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoqFj81bpok

Some of it may end up as Muzak!!

John F
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Re: Philip Glass Question I Sure Can't Answer

Post by John F » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:44 pm

Not sure what question you're speaking of. Walls asks a rhetorical question at the beginning and answers it immediately.
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: Philip Glass Question I Sure Can't Answer

Post by lennygoran » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:48 am

Belle wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:34 pm
Though it can be mesmerizing, I do find its repetitious iterations to be both frustrating and tiring. This work is an enjoyable one
Belle thanks for the recommendations-I saw his opera Satyagraha (opera) at the Met-didn't like the production-the music was okay but went on way too long-it reminded me of a party guest who didn't know when to leave! Regards, Len

lennygoran
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: Philip Glass Question I Sure Can't Answer

Post by lennygoran » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:51 am

John F wrote:
Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:44 pm
Not sure what question you're speaking of. Walls asks a rhetorical question at the beginning and answers it immediately.
Yes the rhetorical question --do you agree with his answer-I don't know enough Glass to accept or reject his answer. Regards, Len

John F
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Philip Glass Question I Sure Can't Answer

Post by John F » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:34 am

I don't care enough about Glass's music to have heard the works he refers to, so I'll take his word for it. Why not? No reason to doubt it.
John Francis

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