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Selections from the Symphonies

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Album Review

This compilation album offers excerpts from Glenn Branca's second, third, fifth, sixth, eighth, and tenth symphonies. The tracks have been selected among Branca's loudest and noisiest works, representing his best writing for walls of electric guitars. The hardcore fan will not find anything new (all the material is already available), but the newcomer is offered a chance to enter Branca's world and then work his way through the complete symphonies. Heavy fabrics of distorted sound unfold through anguishing moods ranging from the almost relaxed atmosphere of "Symphony #2 2nd Movement" to a terrible degree of oppression and suffocation in "Symphony #3 2nd movement" and the apocalyptic "Symphony #10 2nd movement." Drums are heavy, almost tribal and sometimes reminiscent of Magma. For someone who would like to enter the post-apocalyptic world of an avant-rock composer who's been a major influence on bands like Sonic Youth, this disc is the perfect compendium. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Born: 06 October 1948 in Harrisburg, PA

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Glenn Branca's compositions center around multiple guitars — four or more, heavily amplified — augmented by a rock-based rhythm section of drums and bass. In later works, the composer began adding other instruments, including mallet guitar, keyboards, and occasionally a second drummer. Branca's minimalist compositions frequently require unusual guitar tunings — more recent works have them strung with two sets of three strings tuned an octave apart. Many of downtown New York City's...
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Selections from the Symphonies, Glenn Branca
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