May 20, 2024

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CD review: Philip Glass – Philip Glass Solo – 2024: Video, CD cover

“This record revisits my works for piano. From 2020-2021, I had time at home to practice the works I have played for many years. This record is both a time capsule of 2021, and a reflection on decades of composition and practice. In other words, a document on my current thinking about the music. There is also the question of place. This is my piano, the instrument on which most of the music was written. It’s also the same room where I have worked for decades in the middle of the energy which New York City itself has brought to me. The listener may hear the quiet hum of New York in the background or feel the influence of time and memory that this space affords. To the degree possible, I made this record to invite the listener in.” – Philip Glass, November 2023

Philip Glass Solo was recorded at a time when the world was undergoing a major shift—for Glass, that shift manifested in going from a busy tour and premiere schedule to time spent at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Glass dedicated this time to revisiting some of his most critically acclaimed piano music, taking to them with a new view in his home studio in New York. It is his most personal record to date, offering a snapshot of his life, and a portrait of daily practice over eight decades through several cherished works.

Philip Glass Solo will feature “Opening,” originally written for the 1982 album Glassworks, which remains one of Glass’ most transfixing pieces and established a sound that quickly became a calling card, “Metamorphosis” I, II, III, and V, the series of music Glass arranged for his first solo piano concerts in the 1980s; one of his most beloved pieces and longest performances on record (at 16:35), “Mad Rush,” which he composed as an organ piece in 1978 when the Dalai Lama made his first public address in New York; and a reworked version of “Truman Sleeps” from the soundtrack of the beloved 90s film The Truman Show, where Glass appeared on screen performing the piano in one of the pivotal scenes of the film. His changes speak to the heart of all artists’ evolution of both themselves, and their music, over time.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Philip Glass is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Juilliard School. In the early 1960s, Glass spent two years of intensive study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and, while there, earned money by transcribing Ravi Shankar’s Indian music into Western notation. By 1974, Glass had a number of innovative projects creating a large collection of new music for The Philip Glass Ensemble and for the Mabou Mines Theater Company. This period culminated in Music in Twelve Parts and the landmark opera Einstein on the Beach, for which he collaborated with Robert Wilson. Since Einstein, Glass has expanded his repertoire to include music for opera, dance, theater, chamber ensemble, orchestra and film. His scores have received Academy Award nominations (Kundun, The Hours, Notes on a Scandal) and a Golden Globe (The Truman Show). Glass’s memoir Words Without Music was published by Liveright Books in 2015. Glass received the Praemium Imperiale in 2012, the U.S. National Medal of the Arts from President Barack Obama in 2016, and 41st Kennedy Center Honors in 2018. Glass’s recent works include a circus opera Circus Days and Nights, Symphony No. 13, Symphony No 14, and Triumph of the Octagon, commissioned and premiered by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Glass is currently writing his 15th symphony commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra.

This interesting musician is already in his 80s, so he left this life and hardly understands what kind of idiots he works with: managers and media workers, in fact, ostrich idiots.

PHILIP GLASS—PHILIP GLASS SOLO DIGITAL & CD

1. Opening | 5:57
2. Mad Rush | 16:35
3. Metamorphosis I | 7:26
4. Metamorphosis II | 7:31
5. Metamorphosis III | 6:17
6. Metamorphosis V | 5:29
7. Truman Sleeps | 4:39

PHILIP GLASS—PHILIP GLASS SOLO VINYL
Side A:

1. Opening | 4:01
2. Metamorphosis I | 7:26
3. Metamorphosis II | 7:31

Side B:

4. Mad Rush | 8:08
5. Metamorphosis III | 6:17
6. Truman Sleeps | 4:39

Amazon.com: Philip Glass: Solo Piano: CDs & Vinyl

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