Glass, Philip - Symphony No. 9
"The Los Angeles Philharmonic's ongoing policy of commissioning new works certainly paid off with Philip Glass' big, new Ninth Symphony written for a large, powerhouse orchestra, a co-commission with the Bruckner Orchester Linz who with Dennis Russell Davies performs the work on this recoding. `The work is late Glass at his most momentous, a significant symphony by America's most significant symphonist,' as the critic for the LA Times phrased it.
Glass' 75th birthday was celebrated in January with the U.S. premiere of the Ninth at Carnegie Hall. The massive symphony opens with those slow, soft, somber, vacillating shifts from major to minor, the portentous repetitions, the moody stepwise melodies, the repeated cadences, the signature chugging rhythms. But the moods in this symphony are far more varied than in most of Glass' works. It is full of surprising incidents and strange landscapes once you attune yourself to the landscape and time frame. The gradual, built-up climaxes in the first and second movements have a majesty and radiance that is particular to Glass at his greatest moments. The middle movement is the longest and is the most luminous of the symphony. It opens in quiet, lush, ethereal beauty and has the radiant substance of a Bruckner slow movement. While the melodies seem simple they can probe deeply with their elemental essence.
For devotees of the music of Philip Glass this work will be appreciated immediately as the masterwork it is. For those just learning about Philip Glass, this is as fine a starting point as any to appreciate his gifts as a symphonist in addition to his operas and chamber works."-Grady Harp
- LabelOrange Mountain Music