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From the Philip Glass Recording Archive: Theater Music Vol.I

Philip Glass

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Customer Reviews

From the Theater Archive

Both pieces on this recording present stripped-down, chamber-music Philip Glass, but in two very different styles. The Sound of a Voice Suite is orchestrated for an exotic ensemble of mostly percussive instruments, which give the music an overall texture not unlike scenes from Monsters of Grace or The Screens (though compositionally, the melodic and harmonic ideas are worlds apart from those two works.) There is a tendency for overtures or suites to sound stitched together, like collages cut-and-pasted out of larger works; but the Sound of a Voice suite somehow avoids this tendency, seguing fluidly between ideas and contrasting sections. Summer House, scored for a single violin and cello, is a wistful piece with moments recalling the feel of pieces like "Etude No. 2", the String Quartets, and some of the quieter moments of The Screens, such as "French Lieutenant Dreams". Orange Mountain has indicated that they plan to release "Monsters of Grace" later this year. No doubt the label has a difficult time satisfying the varied interests of the Glass community, but it can only be hoped that this first volume in the "theater archive" series will not be the last. Hopefully Glass aficionados will eventually be able to hear archive recordings of pieces such as "Madrigal Opera", the many Mabou Mines pieces Glass wrote in the 70s and 80s, and many of the other chamber operas (not to mention the two major Doris Lessing operas!) still unheard by anyone not fortunate enough to have attended the performances of those works.

Do not buy this album

I purchased this album for "The sound of the voice." As a avid Philip Glass fan I was anxious to hear what was reviewed as one of his most avant-garde works. I was very disappointed not by the work itself - but the recording. Warning: they are people coughing throughout! What a shame! Although the piece itself is very beautiful and touches upon many rythmic and musical qualities, that lady coughing throughout is absolutely annoying! However there is good news! Do not buy this piece for "The Sound of The Voice" instead purchase Glass' "ORION" which is very similar in sound and much more enjoyable (especially without a rude audience!) And as for 'In the Summer House' forget it! To Mr. Glass' credit this was an early composition were I believe he was just learning/experimenting with a string quartet. More Good News: instead - to hear his String Quartet Masterpieces - purchase the film score to Dracula and the Kronos Quartets string recordings to hear Mr. Glass at his best!

Biography

Born: January 31, 1937 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Philip Glass was unquestionably among the most innovative and influential composers of the 20th century. Postmodern music's most celebrated and high-profile proponent, his myriad orchestral works, operas, film scores, and dance pieces proved essential to the development of ambient and new age sounds, and his fusions of...
Full Bio
From the Philip Glass Recording Archive: Theater Music Vol.I, Philip Glass
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Apr 16, 2007

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