Glassworlds Vol. 1 (2015)

Posted By: peotuvave
Glassworlds Vol. 1 (2015)

Glassworlds Vol. 1 (2015)
EAC Rip | Flac (Image + cue + log) | 1 CD | Full Scans | 290 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Grand Piano | Catalog Number: 677

Philip Glass has made an immense and stylistically wide-ranging contribution to piano repertoire. The Orphée Suite, a transcription of excerpts from the first opera in Glass’ Cocteau Trilogy, is one of his most distinctive piano pieces, blending virtuosity and melodic richness. In contrast, the hypnotic How Now is structurally influenced by Indian ragas and gamelan music, whilst Dreaming Awake contains one of the most powerful climaxes in all Glass’ works. Performed by Nicolas Horvath, a Scriabin Competition first prize winner, this is the first release in the complete Glass solo piano edition which will include many premières.

Reviews: This first volume of piano works of Philip Glass also allows transcriptions, which I regard with reservations. Paul Barnes, who has often worked with Glass and premiered Glass's second piano concerto, certainly has expertise in transcribing The Orphée Suite, and transcriptions are common, sometimes done by the composer; but I would not like this to be a frequent occurrence in this series. It takes away from Glass himself and how he envisioned and prepared his compositions. The 79-minute album begins with the first section of Glassworks, which is indeed a solo piano work, the only such movement in the piece. As the package commentary states, the final note is performed and emphasized, something not always found in other recordings of the work. The seven tracks of the Orphée Suite give the Fazioli grand piano a workout. The volume dynamics, the ragtime, and lyricism of The Café lead to a quiet, gingerly treatment of the Bedroom scene. Darkness, fear and foreboding mark the Journey to the Underworld. Track 6 includes some familiar Glass phrasing (Kundun), and so forth in this classical mythological tale. The following composition is Dreaming Awake, from 2003. A world premiere recording, the four-movement work dwells on the negative: woe, despair and anger. It was composed shortly after the soundtrack to The Hours, not the happiest of cinema, and this piece ends quietly and forlorn. The most interesting work on this album for me is How Now from 1968, when minimalism, Hindustani music, and New Age atmospherics were arising. Two years earlier Glass had worked with Ravi Shankar on the Chappaqua album, when he learned how to transcribe raga music into Western scores; the exercise was strongly influential in developing the Glass style. This 30-minute composition is a meditation. We are reminded that the piano is a percussive instrument as the repeated hammered notes of the left hand are integrated with the rapid arpeggios of the right. The constancy of the core pattern and the varying phrasing soon mesmerize. Pedal-sustained bell-like notes blend into each other as with sympathetic strings of a sitar or the different timbre of gamelan metallophones. Pianist Nicolas Horvath needed endurance and keen concentration in performing this highly unusual work, probably the least Glass-like Glass composition that you will ever hear.


01. I. Opening
Orphee Suite (arr. Paul Barnes)
02. I. The Cafe
03. II. Orphee's Bedroom
04. III. Journey to the Underworld
05. IV. Orphee and the Princess
06. V. Return to Orphee's House
07. VI. Orphee's Return
08. VII. Orphee's Bedroom - Reprise
09. Dreaming Awake
10. How Now

Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 4 from 7. December 2014

EAC extraction logfile from 7. April 2015, 20:52

Philip Glass / Glassworlds Vol. 1

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AccurateRip summary

Track 1 not present in database
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None of the tracks are present in the AccurateRip database

End of status report

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Thanks to the original releaser