Glass: Music from The Hours

Glass: Music from The Hours

5.0 1
by Michael Riesman
     
 
Philip Glass' score for the film The Hours is very typical of Glass, with its nearly constant repetition and slowly evolving variations on a theme. It suits the moods of the film perfectly, reflecting mesmerically the inner thoughts and emotions of the characters, but remaining subservient to the film itself. Michael Riesman, a long-time associate of Glass, has

Overview

Philip Glass' score for the film The Hours is very typical of Glass, with its nearly constant repetition and slowly evolving variations on a theme. It suits the moods of the film perfectly, reflecting mesmerically the inner thoughts and emotions of the characters, but remaining subservient to the film itself. Michael Riesman, a long-time associate of Glass, has transcribed the score of "The Hours" for piano. It wasn't hard for him to do this: the score prominently features the piano alongside the orchestra, and Riesman performed the piano part in the soundtrack recording. His solo piano version covers exactly the same music as on the soundtrack album, but to call it a "reduction" of an orchestral work would be unfair. Yes, it is one instrument instead of many, but just by the facts that it's a single performer being responsible for realizing the music and it's no longer an accompaniment to screen images, Riesman is able to add to it more expression and more life. Even though his tempos and the track times match the soundtrack almost exactly, he is able to take tiny liberties with the phrasing of themes so that the quiet desperation of the music isn't quite as desperate. It doesn't matter if he uses a larger array of dynamics and is not quite as strict with time. Whereas listening to the soundtrack without the film can be almost unbearably boring or depressing, depending on your state of mind, listening to Riesman's version is less so. Although the track titles make no sense without film, in this version, the music is able to stand on its own as a distinct creative work, with more vitality and wider-ranging sentiment than the soundtrack.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/14/2004
Label:
Orange Mountain
UPC:
0801837001228
catalogNumber:
12
Rank:
114306

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. The Hours, music from the film score for piano

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Glass: Hours 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Returning to view the masterfully created cinematic production of Michael Cunningham's THE HOURS always leaves the reminder that much of the atmosphere that made the film work so well on every level was the musical score composed by Philip Glass. The soundtrack recording from the film remains for this listener a constant companion and now there is yet another extension of the eloquence of Glass' achievement. Glass' longtime musical colleague is Michael Riesman, a gifted pianist as well as a composer who had the fine thought of distilling Glass' already minimalist score for piano solo. And in this recording Riesman performs his composer-sanctioned transcriptions with not only impeccable musical skill but also with the knowledge of both the Cunningham novel and the Virginia Woolf novel 'Mrs. Dalloway' on which it was based. The result is far more richly varied series of vignettes than most would have thought possible. For those who are devotees of Philip Glass' compositions, from the very large symphonies and operas to the chamber ensemble and solo instrumental works, this series of piano transcriptions will prove rewarding. Reisman makes Glass' ideas crystalline, allowing us to hear the very subtle differences in the music he created for each character and each emotion. For those less familiar with Philip Glass' music but very familiar with the film 'The Hours', this recording will provide an hour of nostalgia and clean swept elegance that can be heard at any moment (any hour!) of the day. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp