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Classical - Released January 27, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 24, 2020 | Naxos

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Philip Glass has become an iconic figure in American music. His works are often inspired by collaborations with other leading musicians, and the proposal of an “American Four Seasons” by the violinist Robert McDuffie to reflect Vivaldi’s famous masterpiece resulted in a concerto which evokes the Baroque spirit of early 18th-century violin tradition. With the Concerto’s range of moods, listeners are invited to decide for themselves which season the music evokes. The Violin Sonata sees Glass’s melodic and harmonic language haunted by the ghosts of Brahms, Fauré and Franck, “the meditativeness of this piece bringing a unique energy” for award-winning violinist Piotr Plawner. © Naxos
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Classical - Released October 23, 2020 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Katia and Marielle Labèque are known for the fusion and duet energy, supporting both the classical repertoire and the contemporary creation. Composer Philip Glass, whose music occupies a special place with the duo, chose to adapt for them his opera Les enfants terribles in a suite for piano duet, entrusting the adaptation to longtime collaborator/arranger, Michael Riesman. © Deutsche Grammmophon
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Classical - Released November 6, 2004 | Naxos

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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. © TiVo
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Solo Piano - Released June 1, 2015 | InFiné

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Chamber Music - Released September 4, 2015 | Naxos

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1983 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Philip Glass' score for Godfrey Reggio's 1983 film Koyaanisqatsi comes from one of his most fertile creative periods, soon after Satyagraha and about five years after Einstein on the Beach, and it contains some of his most immediately appealing music. For listeners who are not likely to wade into one of his huge operas, Koyaanisqatsi's manageable dimensions make it an ideal introduction to Glass' work (if there is in fact anyone out there who has not yet been introduced to it) because many of its sections are so memorably distinctive. The opening, with a broadly amplified very low bass intoning the film's title (which means "life out of balance" in Hopi) while the orchestra weaves an apocalyptically menacing web is one of Glass' most unforgettable inventions. The ululating chorus of mixed voices, "Vessels," at first unaccompanied, and then joined by the throbbing of instruments, is a marvel of open-throated lyricism that should dispel any stereotypical misconceptions of Glass as a rigidly mechanistic technician. The 1983 soundtrack includes about 46 minutes of music, a little more than half the length of the film. The strongest tracks are included, and while the listener with a passion for completeness may want to seek out the complete soundtrack, released for the first time in 2009, there is plenty here to savor. Glass' ensemble, as always, performs with mind-boggling discipline and soulful commitment, and because of the darkly pessimistic tone of the film, with a stark and sobering gravity. His use of a large ensemble of orchestral instruments, as well as the Western Wind Vocal Ensemble, along with electronic instruments, allows him a wide palette, ranging from the warm of human voices to the high-tech pulsing of synthesizers. Careful engineering is integral to Glass' compositional process, so the CD's sound is certainly his own best realization of his artistic vision. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 2, 2015 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
Valentina Lisitsa's double-CD of the music of Philip Glass is a generous collection of excerpts drawn from his film music, including The Hours, The Truman Show, and Mishima, as well as from concert works, such as Glassworks, How Now, The Metamorphosis, and Mad Rush, among other selections. While Glass achieved fame through his early ensemble pieces, where he developed a bright-edged sound through the use of electronic keyboards, his minimalism is easily adaptable to the piano, though the characteristic ostinato patterns that gave his earlier scores a fierce energy are somewhat softened in the piano's blander sonorities and more introspective tone. Lisitsa has found a niche in playing minimalist music, as she demonstrated on her successful 2014 album, Chasing Pianos, where she explored the film music of Michael Nyman. This collection is a natural follow-up, and Lisitsa's aptitude for Glass' style is shown in her steady, rocking rhythms and even dynamics, as well as in her poignantly lyrical expressions. One might not have predicted this route for a pianist who started her career by playing Chopin and Rachmaninov on YouTube, but Lisitsa's success has had a lot to do with taking big chances, and here they have paid off handsomely. © TiVo
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Classical - Released April 30, 2007 | Naxos

Booklet
The Heroes Symphony of Philip Glass is one of two symphonies he wrote based on albums by David Bowie (the other is the Low Symphony). This recording by Marin Alsop, one of Britain's (and now America's) most talked-about conductors, suggests that the idea has been successful enough to move beyond the usual Glass orbit and into conventional symphonic repertory. Glass has always had a strong following among pop listeners, and part of the interest of these compositions lies in the unique crossover terrain they explore -- ironically, with Glass (whose versions are all instrumental) coming out as slightly more conventional than his pop counterparts. The Bowie album was recorded in the late '70s in Berlin with pop synthesizer experimenter Brian Eno. Glass fills out the songs with repeated musical figures, mostly assigned to the strings, replacing and expanding the guitar and keyboard riffs of the original songs. One can see why Bowie liked this music, which remains close to the harmonies of his original songs without seeming at all like an arrangement in the conventional sense. One can also see why the canny Marin Alsop might have wanted to record the work; she has been associated with several unusual crossover projects (including the Too Hot to Handel Messiah), and this one is unlike any other classical composition modeled on pop material. The Bournemouth Symphony achieves the hypnotic smoothness necessary for Glass throughout. The opening orchestral piece called The Light is a less distinctive Glass work, although rendered equally well. It refers to a famous scientific experiment having to do with light, but it would be surprising if any listener uncoached by notes succeeded in identifying which one. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 15, 2016 | InFiné

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Minimal Music - Released September 29, 2003 | Sony Classical

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released June 5, 2020 | Steinway and Sons

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Pianist Jenny Lin has recorded a great diversity of piano music over the years, but in mid-career, she seems to have emerged as a champion of Philip Glass, touring with the composer and making several recordings. The keyboard music of Glass has never been a terribly common facet of his output, which seems to require the sensory envelopment of large forms, but Lin does it justice. The result here is an attractive sampling, following on the grand success of her performances of the composer's Etudes, and beautifully recorded by her label, Steinway & Sons. She is sensitive to the development of Glass' musical language, seemingly entering into the composer's mind as he pushed and pulled at his basic minimalist arpeggiations. The pieces here range chronologically from 1979 (Mad Rush, written for an appearance by the Dalai Lama in New York) to 2017 (Distant Figure -- Passacaglia for solo piano), with the centerpiece being Metamorphosis. This five-movement work was abstracted and arranged by Glass from his music for the 1988 film The Thin Blue Line, and it's an effective suite that builds from simple textures to syncopations and big dramatic gestures of the kind Glass was beginning to develop at the time. Nowhere is the music technically difficult, but to bring it to life is not simple, and that's what Lin accomplishes here. © TiVo
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Classical - Released December 9, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Minimal Music - Released August 22, 1989 | Sony Classical

Distinctions Stereophile: Record To Die For
Mention "minimalism" and certain names will pop up, both within and outside of the classical world: Terry Riley, Steve Reich, John Adams. The most famous one, however, would be Philip Glass. Unlike most 20th Century composers, Glass has reached far beyond the concert hall: his work includes film soundtracks (THE TRUMAN SHOW, THE THIN BLUE LINE), multimedia presentations ('1000 Airplanes on the Roof"), and collaborations with pop/rock writers/performers (his SONGS FOR LIQUID DAYS album). With SOLO PIANO, Glass presents himself "unplugged" - no electronic keyboards or synthesizers, and no overdubs, either - just solo piano. Here, Glass' connection to the established "classical" tradition is most evident. Though his pieces are "minimal" (subtly altered repeated patterns or melodic motifs), yet they have an unsentimental beauty and heartfelt grace that one would hear in J.S. Bach's English Suites, as well as the piano music of Chopin and Erik Satie. Portions of the suite 'Metamorphosis' are based on Glass' score for THE THIN BLUE LINE; these short pieces are forlornly entrancing without being drippy or "trance-like." The finale, 'Wichita Sutra Vortex,' is a uniquely and quintessentially "American" piece. It draws upon gospel music in the same way Ives and Copland drew from the well of American folk tunes, but where those composers worked in ironic portions or references to the tunes, Glass absorbs the deep feeling and tones of gospel, without recalling any particular song. Both Glass fans and minimalist neophytes should hear this. © TiVo
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Ambient - Released January 29, 2021 | InFiné

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Ambient - Released October 9, 2015 | InFiné

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Fans of electro are extremely familiar with the concept of a remix, but the art has also existed for a long time in classical and contemporary music. New York pianist Bruce Brubaker has dedicated his career to the exploration of this concept. Released in May 2015, Glass Piano is the first collaboration between Brubaker and the InFiné label, which brought beautiful reinterpretations of pieces by Philip Glass to the solo piano. From these titles, the label decided to continue the process initiated by Brubaker by inviting artists from different generations and genres to revisit pieces from Glass Piano. The EP starts with a recent signing of the label’s, Julien Earle. The American producer is only 17 years old, and crafts a remix of Mad Rush that is full of emotion; it is a house-y tune reminiscent of one Nicolas Jaar. For his part, another producer, Akufen, opts for a cozier atmosphere that blends jazz with an exactitude that heads towards Tangerine Sunset Mix by John Beltran, borrowing riffs and air guitars. By contrast, Biblo takes the listener to a darker atmosphere with his interpretation, which blends techno and ambient vocals, sounding soft and tortured. What follows is a remix done by the classical pianist and electro-dabbler Francesco Tristano Schlimé, who maintains a special relationship with the label and with Brubaker. Tristano was, indeed, a student of Bruce Brubaker’s at the Julliard School in New York. He was also the first artist to be signed to InFiné – his album Not For Piano was released on the label in 2007. Finally, Plaid, the legendary London duo on Warp, brand Metamorphosis 5 with their electronic stamp, involving more than just a touch of hip-hop…
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Classical - Released October 27, 2017 | Brilliant Classics

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Techno - Released October 18, 2019 | Pan European Recording

Still as active as ever, Maud Geffray keeps up a rhythm of one album a year. Since her last solo album in 2017 (Polaar, a record inspired from a trip to Lapland), she teamed up with Sébastien Chenut for Scratch Massive’s latest EP - Garden of Love - in 2018. That same year, the musical magazine Sourdoreille and La Compagnie des Indes invited her to take part in a series of concerts entitled Variations which brought together renowned musicians with an elite group of electronic producers on stage for “a repertoire of art music”. Maud Geffray found herself alongside the Dutch harpist Lavinia Meij and together they revisited Philip Glass’ pieces Einstein on the Beach and The Photographer. Those two compositions served as the basis for this album, which quickly turned into an “inspired by Philip Glass” record. Feeling the need to “detach herself from him”, Maud Geffray plunged the master’s scores into her ocean of drones and dark synths, skilfully playing in counterpoint with Lavinia Meij’s harp. The result is a truly exhilarating record. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Film Soundtracks - Released December 5, 2002 | Nonesuch - Warner Records

There are movies where you notice the soundtrack, and others where you don't. The latter is usually considered ideal, and yet it's impossible to ignore Philip Glass' pervasive, all-encompassing soundtrack while watching Stephen Daldy's celebrated follow-up to Billy Elliot (the same could just as easily be said of Elmer Bernstein's majestic music for Far From Heaven). This isn't such a bad thing -- far from it. The piano-dominated score, incorporating motifs from Glass' Satyagraha, Glassworks, and Solo Piano is, by turns, lush, sumptuous, and stirring. Michael Riesman is the pianist, the Lyric Quartet provides the strings, and Nick Ingman is the conductor. The fruits of their labor -- and artistry -- add depth to the action on screen without ever quite overwhelming it. The complicated storyline, based on Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel (which was, in turn, inspired by Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway) is inherently dramatic and emotionally compelling enough that it doesn't really "need" music to get its message across. And the actors, including Nicole Kidman (Virginia Woolf), Julianne Moore (Laura Brown), and Meryl Streep (Clarissa Vaughn), breathe such life into these three distinct characters, living in three different time periods, that they don't need really need the music either. But it's always there, like a ghostly presence in each woman's life, helping to tie their divergent storylines together as much as the themes that are common to each. In the end, the score is as much a unifying force as Peter Boyle's deft editing and, most importantly, Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, which was originally to be called The Hours. The CD booklet includes liner notes by Cunningham (focusing on his longtime admiration for Glass), excerpts about each character from his novel, and stills from the film. © TiVo
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Classical - Released November 17, 2017 | Steinway and Sons

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Philip Glass' 20 études for piano were written in two sets, with Glass himself as the intended performer. Like Chopin's études, however, they are susceptible to an unusually wide range of possible interpretations. Jenny Lin has been close to Glass at various points in the works' development, but this does not mean that she is obligated to follow his lead in terms of interpretation. Indeed, it's the best possible news for his music that any prescriptions he may have laid down are now being discarded in favor of variety. Lin has performed on bills where the etudes are performed in a group to show their versatility. The etudes fit generally into Glass' late style, introducing Romantic elements into a harmonically varied minimalist language. Lin offers some of the widest dynamic ranges to be heard on recordings of Glass' keyboard and chamber music, and her performances are sweeping and powerful. Sample the spacious Etude No. 7, in which Glass' music takes on real epic stature, or the quiet conclusion to the whole (the Etude No. 20). Lin made the recordings on four separate occasions, all at the acoustically superb Steinway Hall, and the études, like Chopin's, were perhaps not meant to be played all together. Maybe this is a lot of Philip Glass at once, but the increasing variety of Glass recordings, beyond his own Orange Mountain Music label, is nothing but good news for lovers of his music, and this must be one of the strongest new entries in the field. © TiVo

Composer

Philip Glass in the magazine
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    Video interview with Woodkid We met with Philip Glass fan Woodkid, who recently crossed paths with his idol at the Festival Nouveau Siècle de Saint-Étienne. The French musician and videographer discussed the influence of minim...