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Philip Glass - Heroes Symphony
“…Alsop provides a blend of warmth and energy that particularly suits Glass's lyrical side and his constantly shifting rhythms.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2007 ****
(also available to download from $6.00)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)
“Comparing Glass's Third Symphony with his Second finds the forces reduced from full orchestra to strings, the overall timing reduced by virtually half and the number of movements increased from three to four. Glass No 2 is long breathed, atmospheric and occasionally suggestive of Brucknerian vistas, whereas Glass No 3 is texturally lean and harmonically more adventurous than much of his previous work. It also seems to have taken in influences from some fairly unexpected sources.
The first movement is sombre and march-like while the second, which is built on compound meters, kicks out in all directions, switching to a gutsy staccato at 2'59". The pulse is constant, but the tone has altered, sometimes sidling nearer to Sibelius, sometimes a stone's throw from Shostakovich.
At the start of the brief finale, there's even a hint of Kurt Weill, but one thing is for sure: if you play the Symphony blind, you might never guess that it's by Glass. The stylistic shift from mellow, arpeggiated dreamscape (a familiar Glassian aura that holds sway for most of TheLight) to a sort of ecstatic acerbity, follows through to the rest of the work. But there's another presence – less of a surprise, perhaps – later in the long third movement when the Arvo Pärt of Cantus seems to join the fray.
The idea of external influence extends to the interludes from The CIVIL WarS, where, as annotator David Wright tells us, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker gets a look in, particularly in the Second Interlude with its pas-de-deux-like downward scales. 'Mechanical Ballet' (from The Voyage) and the expansive The Light are rather more what you'd expect from Glass: haunting narratives, always on the move yet tinged with melancholy.
Even if you don't care for Glass's more familiar 'arpeggiated' style, do try the Third Symphony.
It's different, and the performance is excellent.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
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Glass Boxed Set
A fabulous new box set comprising the complete Glass works from the Naxos catalogue, all of them immensely successful in their own right.
Naxos - 8503202
(CD - 3 discs)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.