Glass: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3

Glass: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3

by Marin Alsop
     
 

Naxos' American Classics series has here gotten around to two Philip Glass symphonies not long after their premiere recordings on Nonesuch. Philip Glass: Symphonies No. 2 and 3 combines two works from the 1990s that are more or less not in the vein that made Glass popular, which is a good thing if the insistent patterning and repetition of his most famous worksSee more details below

Overview

Naxos' American Classics series has here gotten around to two Philip Glass symphonies not long after their premiere recordings on Nonesuch. Philip Glass: Symphonies No. 2 and 3 combines two works from the 1990s that are more or less not in the vein that made Glass popular, which is a good thing if the insistent patterning and repetition of his most famous works, such as "Koyaanisqatsi" and "Einstein on the Beach," drives one crazy. As the 1990s progressed, Glass seemed to have worked through the tentative aspects found in early purely orchestral works such as his "Violin Concerto" and "The Canyon" into a formal approach that is in accord with his distinctive voice and artistic aims. Glass also introduces into these works, particularly in the "Symphony No. 2," some stimuli from his formative education with Nadia Boulanger, a developmental twist no one could have predicted. So these Philip Glass symphonies are substantive pieces that maintain a good sense of forward momentum and variety of ideas. As the two symphonies fit together on one CD, it is desirable to have them that way, and these performances by Marin Alsop and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra are very, very good. The orchestra is keenly balanced, sustains a relaxed sound that never coagulates into soupiness, and the tempi are constant without being rigid. Solo parts are heard very clearly; Naxos' recording is a stunner, establishing a sense of perspective that is right in step with the musical texture. The disc also has surprisingly good liner notes by Daniel Felsenfeld that tell you everything you need to know about these pieces without making grandiose claims or over-intellectualizing what is intriguing and easily appealing music. If you are of a mind to hear Philip Glass' music in his mature style, than this Naxos American Classics disc makes a particularly fulfilling choice, both economically and artistically.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/16/2004
Label:
Naxos American
UPC:
0636943920220
catalogNumber:
8559202
Rank:
163930

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Symphony No.3, for strings  - Philip Glass  - Marin Alsop  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  2. Symphony No.2, for orchestra  - Philip Glass  - Marin Alsop  -  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

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