Author Topic: Philip Glass  (Read 30652 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 44265
  • Toru Takemitsu (1930 - 1996)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The sound of a flock descending across the pentagonal garden
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #80 on: September 28, 2011, 03:37:55 PM »
I heard this one work by Glass that...I heard this one work by Glass that....I heard this one work by Glass that....

Repetition isn't so much the problem, but what you do with the repetition and how to make it more easily digestible and not so downright irritating is the challenge. Glass I think has failed where Reich has succeeded. One careful listen to Reich's Music for 18 Musicians will reveal someone who has mastered the art of repetition. With Glass it just all sounds so clunky. While Glass has certainly gone in many more directions than Reich, musically I think Reich's work is stronger and more consistent because Reich has continued to pursue an approach that has worked well for him. Is that approach limited? Absolutely, but the problem I have with Glass has more to do with him trying to apply principles that he formulated so many years ago into something that doesn't work for the music he composed. As much as I dislike Glass, I think his earlier work gave way to more interesting style by continuing to experiment with the simplest means.
"Music should be able to invoke the natural emotions in all human beings. Music is not notes fixed on apiece of paper.” - Toru Takemitsu

Offline DavidRoss

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7590
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #81 on: September 28, 2011, 05:33:34 PM »
So DavidR or someone else — what should I hear that would convince someone like me of Glass's greatness?
But I don't think it can "convince" anyone. You either enjoy Glass' musical language or you don't.
Maybe he isn't exactly great....

I don't know what you are like, Coco.  I do know that I can't convince anyone of anything if he isn't willing to be convinced.  Are you willing? 

I've found that what doesn't appeal to me at one stage of life might appeal to me more later after I've had whatever life experience is required for me to appreciate it.  Perhaps it's being snowbound much of the winter in a cabin in the mountains, listening to the crackle of split oak burning in the woodstove, hearing the ssschhulllsch-ssschhulllsch-ssschuhulllsh of a deer breaking a trail through waist-deep crusted snow, the steady drip of melting ice, the muffled crash of snow sliding off the roof...or maybe it's the mind working subconsciously to make some rhythmic sense from the cacaphony of a factory floor with various presses and stampers and grinders and polishers contributing to the din...the sound of breaking waves, of falling rain and wind in the trees, the swish of cars passing by on rain-soaked streets, the quickening breath of a lover's sighs and gasps, the beating of a human heart, and the purr of a contented cat.

My first exposure to Glass's music was via the film Koyaanisqatsi nearly thirty years ago at the old Aquarius cinema in Palo Alto.  I loved it.  A couple of years later I spotted an album of music by Glass and bought it.  Glassworks.  I may still have it around but haven't listened to it in years.  I liked it well enough then, however, to go see Glass and his ensemble play at Davies Hall.  The concert was terrific.  Occasionally I hear something by him that I like--the piece posted by Rinaldo from Akhnaten, for instance--but seldom enough to buy it.  I do like the first violin concerto very much, however, and find that it stands up to relatively frequent hearings better than most of his stuff.  And I think he is an extraordinary film composer.  If there is "greatness" in him, that's where I might seek it.  The Illusionist stands out in memory as particularly good. (Note--I've neither seen The Hours nor heard the soundtrack for it.)

As for "greatness" ... some apply the word as liberally as Hollywood uses the word "star."  If every Tom, Dick, and Harry who ever penned a tune is "great," then how do we distinguish the likes of Beethoven from the "trendy today, forgotten tomorrow" mediocrities whose corpses litter the history of art?  "Super duper extra jumbo great with a cherry on top?"
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

eyeresist

  • Guest
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #82 on: September 28, 2011, 05:40:10 PM »
So DavidR or someone else — what should I hear that would convince someone like me of Glass's greatness?

Someone in another thread recently mentioned the 3rd symphony and the violin concerto. For me also these are his best works ("best" being of course a relative term). I don't really know his film music; I think I listened to one CD once and found the sound so compressed as to make listening physically uncomfortable.
 

Coco

  • Guest
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #83 on: September 28, 2011, 06:11:24 PM »
I don't know what you are like, Coco.  I do know that I can't convince anyone of anything if he isn't willing to be convinced.  Are you willing?

I am (I think) how I try my best to present myself here — always curious, exacting, and not overly serious.

I've found that what doesn't appeal to me at one stage of life might appeal to me more later after I've had whatever life experience is required for me to appreciate it.


I've found this to be true as well. Just a year ago I had almost no interest in Bruckner — now I'd probably count him among my top 10. What broke him for me? No idea — one of the mysteries of music that I live for.

I do like the first violin concerto very much, however, and find that it stands up to relatively frequent hearings better than most of his stuff.

Thanks, I'll seek it out.

As for "greatness" ... some apply the word as liberally as Hollywood uses the word "star."  If every Tom, Dick, and Harry who ever penned a tune is "great," then how do we distinguish the likes of Beethoven from the "trendy today, forgotten tomorrow" mediocrities whose corpses litter the history of art?  "Super duper extra jumbo great with a cherry on top?"

I find it easier to apply the word "great" to the compositions rather than the person — and apply it to the composer only when I've become acquainted with the depth of their oeuvre.

Offline TheGSMoeller

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11133
  • Monkey Greg.
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #84 on: January 31, 2012, 07:15:53 AM »
Happy Birthday, Mr. Glass.

snyprrr

  • Guest
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #85 on: January 31, 2012, 08:09:18 AM »
I pulled out the 'Kronos Play Glass' cd.

Taken as a 'one off', there is nothing here but pure joyous listening. If I didn't 'know' Glass, I'd think he's the Greatest from the evidence of this cd. As a whole, it is just an utterly satisfying hour of aural wallpaper.

I had always gone straight for the SQ 5, the first up on the cd. This piece starts off the way you might want an SQ to start off(mysterious intro), but then settles into a fairly regular Glass-pattern. I believe the five sections play right through,... doesn't anyone else think this piece is...at LEAST 'ok'??? I find it soothing and relaxing,... in the best way.

SQ 4 is an elegy. It is in three, more substantial, movements, and though I didn't take to it immediately, I'm starting to like this one better than SQ 5, because it's not as obvious. There is a bit more harmonic complexity (ok,... more for Glass) than the other which ultimately makes it a more satisfactory experience than SQ 5.

SQ 2, 'Company', is almost the ubiquitous Glass piece. Given its short length, it dovetails right into SQ 3, 'Mishima' (soundtrack to0 the film), which completes the album. These two shorter works work very well with the two longer works to form, what I think, is a 'perfect' album. Kronos's finest hour?

I haaave to believe that everyone on this Forum has had a copy of this (like Gorecki) at some point. What do you think of it TODAY? (and I mean, right NOW!) I've always loved this cd, though I generally CAN'T STAND Glass.

I say it's Great Stuff. ;)

Offline TheGSMoeller

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11133
  • Monkey Greg.
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #86 on: January 31, 2012, 08:57:54 AM »
I pulled out the 'Kronos Play Glass' cd.

Taken as a 'one off', there is nothing here but pure joyous listening. If I didn't 'know' Glass, I'd think he's the Greatest from the evidence of this cd. As a whole, it is just an utterly satisfying hour of aural wallpaper.

I had always gone straight for the SQ 5, the first up on the cd. This piece starts off the way you might want an SQ to start off(mysterious intro), but then settles into a fairly regular Glass-pattern. I believe the five sections play right through,... doesn't anyone else think this piece is...at LEAST 'ok'??? I find it soothing and relaxing,... in the best way.

SQ 4 is an elegy. It is in three, more substantial, movements, and though I didn't take to it immediately, I'm starting to like this one better than SQ 5, because it's not as obvious. There is a bit more harmonic complexity (ok,... more for Glass) than the other which ultimately makes it a more satisfactory experience than SQ 5.

SQ 2, 'Company', is almost the ubiquitous Glass piece. Given its short length, it dovetails right into SQ 3, 'Mishima' (soundtrack to0 the film), which completes the album. These two shorter works work very well with the two longer works to form, what I think, is a 'perfect' album. Kronos's finest hour?

I haaave to believe that everyone on this Forum has had a copy of this (like Gorecki) at some point. What do you think of it TODAY? (and I mean, right NOW!) I've always loved this cd, though I generally CAN'T STAND Glass.

I say it's Great Stuff. ;)


Great write up, and I agree, this is always a great go-to disc of Glass' music. Music written within the years 83-91 which is a great period of his career for exploring different forms and mediums, for example Company and Mishima being inspired from other sources.

DavidW

  • Guest
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #87 on: January 31, 2012, 08:59:28 AM »
I bought his 9th symphony today will post my thoughts once I've put in some serious listening. :)

Offline TheGSMoeller

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11133
  • Monkey Greg.
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #88 on: January 31, 2012, 09:01:46 AM »
I bought his 9th symphony today will post my thoughts once I've put in some serious listening. :)

I heard the First movement on NPR's Performance Today just earlier...was impressed.  ;D

Offline TheGSMoeller

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11133
  • Monkey Greg.
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #89 on: January 31, 2012, 09:02:10 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/r34abqPim8k" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/r34abqPim8k</a>

Glass: Overture to Belle et la Bete

DavidW

  • Guest
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #90 on: January 31, 2012, 01:16:57 PM »
I heard the First movement on NPR's Performance Today just earlier...was impressed.  ;D

I agree and it gets better!  This symphony is amazing. :)

Offline TheGSMoeller

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11133
  • Monkey Greg.
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #91 on: February 01, 2012, 08:03:45 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/JthxVHkRT9Y&amp;feature=related" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/JthxVHkRT9Y&amp;feature=related</a>


Glass: Mad Rush

One of the first pieces I heard from Glass years ago, still one of his greatest.

jlaurson

  • Guest

Offline TheGSMoeller

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11133
  • Monkey Greg.
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #93 on: July 18, 2012, 10:19:57 AM »



http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2007/01/it-took-me-some-time-to-appreciate.html


As a life long fan of Glass, I must say...I love this!  ;D

Of course around the time of his birthday there were many tweets along the lines of... "Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday Mr. Glass, Happy Birthday Mr. Glass, Happy Birthday..."
And the geek I am might have partaken in the lameness.

Offline Rinaldo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1627
  • Cara sposa, dove sei?
    • aaraaf.net
  • Location: Prague
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #94 on: July 18, 2012, 07:45:22 PM »
Now that we've opened that can of worms..

Steve Reich and Phil Glass are moving a couch up the stairs. Phil: "You're getting ahead of me." Steve: "You always say that."

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 11042
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #95 on: July 19, 2012, 02:00:17 AM »
I like the score to the film ('movie' to you lot in the USA) Kundun - powerful and moving, especially the final sequence.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

jlaurson

  • Guest
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #96 on: July 19, 2012, 02:11:40 AM »
Now that we've opened that can of worms..

Steve Reich and Phil Glass are moving a couch up the stairs. Phil: "You're getting ahead of me." Steve: "You always say that."

I'd like to point out that the above "poem", although not as good/sophisticated as it could be, isn't really a joke. It's a humorous appreciation of what Glass actually does, rather than mindless repetition.

Offline Rinaldo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1627
  • Cara sposa, dove sei?
    • aaraaf.net
  • Location: Prague
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #97 on: July 19, 2012, 05:31:40 AM »
I'd like to point out that the above "poem", although not as good/sophisticated as it could be, isn't really a joke. It's a humorous appreciation of what Glass actually does, rather than mindless repetition.

Fear not, I did not perceive it as a joke and found it quite good, actually.

snyprrr

  • Guest
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #98 on: July 19, 2012, 07:10:08 AM »
Nooooo,... it's the Philip Glass Thread! :o,... I'm mmmmelting :'(, mmmelting :'(,...

Offline TheGSMoeller

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11133
  • Monkey Greg.
Re: Philip Glass
« Reply #99 on: January 13, 2013, 03:07:25 PM »
 


Dueling new releases (only months apart) of Philip Glass performed on Harp. Who has the edge? Here's Sacchi in recital....

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/UQ8rY0TtsYM" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/UQ8rY0TtsYM</a>


...but Meijer created a music video!!!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/_54NQciqofU" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/_54NQciqofU</a>


Make it a clean fight, ladies, no hitting below the belt.  ;)