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Thread: Philip Glass examples

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    Default Philip Glass examples

    Sorry if there's a thread for this. Couldn't find one with the search, only a million of posts.

    I listened to something by Glass a long time ago and didn't like it, but it had very odd instrumentation, if you can call it that. (Nothing wrong with that if the underlying musicality is there.) Then just recently heard parts of an orchestral piece that I'll be honest sounded amateurish. But I've heard he's a great american composer. Can someone recommend something orchestral that is generally considered his best work.

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    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ludwig Von Chumpsky View Post
    Sorry if there's a thread for this. Couldn't find one with the search, only a million of posts.

    I listened to something by Glass a long time ago and didn't like it, but it had very odd instrumentation, if you can call it that. (Nothing wrong with that if the underlying musicality is there.) Then just recently heard parts of an orchestral piece that I'll be honest sounded amateurish. But I've heard he's a great american composer. Can someone recommend something orchestral that is generally considered his best work.

    If you put Philip Glass in the advance search ( titles only) you got dozens of threads.

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    Ah ok, did that. Most recent was 2015 and the youtube like was broken. Most of the others were album covers. I was hoping to get something from the members who can point to an orchestral piece that's considered one of his best.

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    Senior Member chill782002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ludwig Von Chumpsky View Post
    I listened to something by Glass a long time ago and didn't like it, but it had very odd instrumentation, if you can call it that. (Nothing wrong with that if the underlying musicality is there.) Then just recently heard parts of an orchestral piece that I'll be honest sounded amateurish. But I've heard he's a great american composer. Can someone recommend something orchestral that is generally considered his best work.
    I think I understand where you're coming from with the comment about his orchestration sounding "amateurish", though I don't know about your musical tastes so I could be totally off base.
    I instantly fell in love with Glass's music via pieces like Glassworks and Koyaanisqatsi (YT links by chill782002 above) - performed by his ensemble. When I first came across his symphonies (nos. 1 and 4, based on works by David Bowie) I was much less impressed, feeling that the larger scale didn't suit his music. What brought me round was simply an attitude shift - why should I expect a minimalist's symphonies to remind me of Mahler and Beethoven? The complexities of their orchestration isn't what Glass's music is about. So instead of "amateurish" I would say "intentionally not like earlier composers".

    As to his "best orchestral work". I suppose the 1st violin concerto, linked above, has been around for 30 years and is well established. Of the symphonies, my impression is that the 8th and 9th seem to be the most highly regarded.
    Last edited by Nereffid; May-10-2018 at 08:32.
    See the results of my polls: most-liked composers and most-liked works.

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    Junior Member sharkeysnight's Avatar
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    It's more chamber than orchestral, but I've always like his fifth quartet:


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    Senior Member Ras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ludwig Von Chumpsky View Post
    Sorry if there's a thread for this. Couldn't find one with the search, only a million of posts.

    I listened to something by Glass a long time ago and didn't like it, but it had very odd instrumentation, if you can call it that. (Nothing wrong with that if the underlying musicality is there.) Then just recently heard parts of an orchestral piece that I'll be honest sounded amateurish. But I've heard he's a great american composer. Can someone recommend something orchestral that is generally considered his best work.
    Not sure I can say it is a great work - but I just listened to the 3rd piano concerto played by Simone Dinnerstein. It fuses minimalism with neo-romanticism. It's a brand new recording:
    https://www.amazon.com/Circles-Piano...rstein+circles

    I also like the soundtrack to "The Hours" https://www.amazon.com/Hours-Music-M...urs+soundtrack

    You can hear the piano concerto on: www.spotify.com
    - probably the soundtrack too - I haven't checked.
    "I only have a hunch in what I've become expert." - Leonard Cohen

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    Senior Member Sloe's Avatar
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    Have he ever composed for Glass harmonica?

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    I can't say what people regard as Phillip Glass' finest works. Nor would I consider him to be a 'great' composer myself--though admittedly I haven't heard everything Glass has composed. But there are certain works by Glass that I'll occasionally return to: such as Gidon Kremer's recording of the Glass Violin Concerto (as Kremer's violin playing is remarkable, accept no substitutes!), the motion picture score to the film "Koyaanisqatsi", and his opera, "Akhnaten", which is based on the ancient Egyptian pharaoh. I like those works, but admit I'll sometimes lose patience & skip past the parts that are most excessively repetitive, in order to get to the parts that I most enjoy--especially in Akhenaten, where I'm utterly fascinated by what Glass does with percussion and rhythms, in certain sections of the opera. It should also be pointed out that Glass' music works exceptionally well in film: which is how I first discovered his Violin Concerto, as it was used to great effect in an BBC adaptation of a novel by Anthony Trollope.



    Last edited by Josquin13; May-20-2018 at 21:52.

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    I do like the Violin concerto. The second is also good.
    Last edited by fliege; May-21-2018 at 20:24.

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