Minimalist Guitar Music: Works by Philip Glass and Steve Reichby Massimo Menotti
What you have here are not minimalist works composed for guitar, but rather pieces arranged for the instrument of Italian guitarist Massimo Menotti (apparently no relation to Gian Carlo). All three are early minimalist works from between 1967 and 1969, and devotees of Philip Glass' Orange Mountain Music label, on which the album appears, may be surprised by the stark rigor of the two Glass compositions, "Music in Similar Motion" and "Two Pages," which use large-scale additive structures in strict ways. The last work on the album, Steve Reich's "Piano Phase," is the best known. All three works have been performed by a variety of instrumentalists and ensembles, so the idea of transcribing them for guitar is not troublesome on the face of it. "Piano Phase," however, is a tall order for a guitar, even with Menotti accompanying his own taped performance of one of the piano parts. This performance has a real hair-trigger virtuosity, and it's probably the highlight in terms of revealing something new about the work. But all three pieces have the bracing yet meditative quality that made Glass and Reich succeed in a 1960s scene dominated by high modernism, and the entire album, beautifully recorded as is usual with OMM, is a valuable addition to the minimalist canon.
- Release Date:
- Orange Mountain
Performance CreditsMassimo Menotti Primary Artist
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