Dennis Russell Davies has already championed all of Mr. Symphony No. From the beginning of the first movement, listen how almost imperceptibly the brass, harp, strings and percussions play pun intended with the almost elementarily simple theme. Hear how lovingly the strings caress the melodically sweet second movement, or the enthusiasm in which the orchestra members charge when this middle movement changes in atmosphere and rhythm with a nicely executed crescendo from the brass at Get periodic updates about new classical music albums reviews, news and guides. We respect your privacy.
At Philip Glass’s 80th birthday party, audience gift is his joyous Symphony No. 11
Critics and fans alike like to say that Philip Glass composes music that is either riveting or dull. Whatever, count this new symphony among the great successes. It is both fascinating and rollicking fun. Remove the arpeggios and the first is reminiscent of, of all people, Bruckner, with big blocks of conversation between bass trombone, tuba, and string choirs. The little changes and piling up of rhythms, his usual rising and falling melodies with prominent percussion naturally recorded , and shifts in harmony stir up the movement.
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For a composer of such a vast output this might seem reasonable, after all he has composed 11 symphonies and more than 20 operas. There are other contemporary composers who are even more prolific, yet very few of their works are being performed or recorded. What is telling about the music of Philip Glass is how high-profile recording companies and renowned artists have been tackling these works. Another thing that detractors like to complain about is the repetitive nature of the music. What if the composer quotes his previous works now and then? Or a sign of originality on its own?
These are edited excerpts from the conversation. What should listeners keep in mind for this new piece? They have a different effect than they had when I was doing it in this semi-hypnotic style of repetitions slowly shifting over time.