Of Beauty & Light: The Music of Philip Glass

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Naxos' bargain-priced compilation of three of its previously released discs of music by Philip Glass is especially valuable because it consists entirely of works for orchestra, a genre in which he is not especially well represented on recordings. Many of his film scores are written for orchestra, but his absolute music -- symphonies and concertos -- isn't as widely known. Glass came to the symphony relatively late in his career; he wrote his first in 1992, his "Low Symphony," based on the several tracks from David Bowie's and Brian Eno's 1977 album of the same name. Naxos' collection includes his "Second" 1994, "Third" 1994, and "Fourth," 1996 and the "Heroes Symphony," ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Naxos' bargain-priced compilation of three of its previously released discs of music by Philip Glass is especially valuable because it consists entirely of works for orchestra, a genre in which he is not especially well represented on recordings. Many of his film scores are written for orchestra, but his absolute music -- symphonies and concertos -- isn't as widely known. Glass came to the symphony relatively late in his career; he wrote his first in 1992, his "Low Symphony," based on the several tracks from David Bowie's and Brian Eno's 1977 album of the same name. Naxos' collection includes his "Second" 1994, "Third" 1994, and "Fourth," 1996 and the "Heroes Symphony," based on another album by Bowie and Eno. His distinctive "Violin Concerto" 1987, written for Paul Zukofsky, is probably the most substantial and fully satisfying work in the set, which also includes two instrumental selections from the opera "Akhnaten," the symphonic poem "The Light," and the orchestral version of "Company," originally for string quartet. All of the performances are very good, but Marin Alsop's readings of the symphonies, with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, are especially vibrant. Adele Anthony's performance of the "Violin Concerto," with the Ulster Orchestra, led by Takuo Yuasa is thrillingly virtuosic. Naxos includes a bonus disc, Sonic Rebellion, that is a sampler of newer classical music likely to appeal to the kind of listener who's drawn to musical mavericks like Glass. The collection is wonderfully eclectic, including composers as diverse as Rautavaara, Cage, Nancarrow, Henze, Riley, Wuorinen, Ligeti, Scelsi, Gubaidulina, and Adams, and should whet the appetite of fans of new music to look into the Naxos catalog.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/25/2008
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313404032
  • Catalog Number: 8504040
  • Sales rank: 252,217

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Light, for orchestra - Marin Alsop & Philip Glass (23:51)
  2. 2–7 Symphony No. 4 ("Heroes"), for orchestra - Marin Alsop & Philip Glass (46:12)
Disc 2
  1. 1–4 Symphony No. 3, for strings - Marin Alsop & Philip Glass (23:58)
  2. 5–7 Symphony No. 2, for orchestra - Marin Alsop & Philip Glass (43:05)
Disc 3
  1. 1–4 Company, for string quartet/string orchestra - Philip Glass & Tim Smith (9:00)
  2. 5–7 Violin Concerto - Philip Glass & Tim Smith (24:51)
  3. 6 Akhnaten, opera: Prelude - Philip Glass & Tim Smith (12:16)
  4. 7 Akhnaten, opera: Dance (Act II, Scene III) - Philip Glass & Tim Smith (5:34)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Symphony No. 4 ("Heroes"), for orchestra: Neuköln - Marin Alsop & Philip Glass (6:47)
  2. 2 Threnody (for the Victims of Hiroshima), for 52 strings - Krzysztof Penderecki & Polish National Symphony Orchestra (8:52)
  3. 3 Toccata for violin & player piano - Conlon Nancarrow & Continuum (1:32)
  4. 4 Sonatas and Interludes, for prepared piano: First Interlude - John Cage & Boris Berman (3:24)
  5. 5 Fünf Nachtstücke, for violin & piano: 1. Elegie - Hans Werner Henze & Peter Sheppard Skærved (3:00)
  6. 6 Quattro Pezzi su una nota sola (Four Pieces on Only One Note), for 25 musicians: 1. - Hans Zender & Giacinto Scelsi (2:29)
  7. 7 In C, for unspecified performers: [Excerpt] - Paul Hillier & Terry Riley (5:14)
  8. 8 String Quartet No 2 - Charles Wuorinen & The Group for Contemporary Music (5:01)
  9. 9 Déserts for brass, percussion, piano & tape: Beginning - Edgard Varèse & Christopher Lyndon-Gee (4:15)
  10. 10 Songs, Drones and Refrains of Death, for baritone, electric guitar & double bass, amplified piano & harpsichord, & 2 percissionists: Death Drone 2 - George Crumb & Nicholas Isherwood (1:51)
  11. 11 Bagatelles (6) for wind quintet: Allegro grazioso - Albert Schweitzer Quintet & György Ligeti (2:44)
  12. 12 Silenzio, pieces (5) for bayan, violin & cello: II - Maria Kliegel & Sofia Gubaídulína (2:30)
  13. 13 Beta, electronic work - Jørgen Plaetner & Jørgen Plaetner (5:34)
  14. 14 Shaker Loops, for 7 strings or string orchestra: A Final Shaking - John Adams & Marin Alsop (4:08)
  15. 15 Piano Concerto No.1 - Einojuhani Rautavaara & Royal Scottish National Orchestra (9:47)
  16. 16 Fratres, for strings & percussion - Arvo Pärt & Tamás Benedek (8:51)
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