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I'm really enjoying the 'Beauty and the Beast' album; I really hope that the score may be published as well (like 'Music from "The Hours"' was), I think it would become very popular with pianists (I only wish my playing was at that level!).
It's great to see a groundswell of artists recording their interpretations of Glass' works; I really feel that for any composer to have a longstanding impact in the development of music as an art-form this has to happen (otherwise they might just become a flash-in-the-pan fad, albeit a very popular one!), and hopefully this will translate to Glass becoming a more acceptable part of mainstream repertoires. When it comes to recordings however, I'm at a point where I feel I don't really need another version of the Etudes or Metamorphosis, and what I'm really most interested in are either new works (premiere recordings) or previously unreleased works (archive recordings); both of which OMM has done a brilliant job of making available. So, of the several new releases coming out next month, the one I'm most interested in is Michael Riesman's piano version of 'Beauty and the Beast' because, although it's another 'interpretation' of an existing work, I really enjoyed the album of piano versions of Glass works Reisman recorded a few years ago (which included the 'Overture' from 'La Belle et le Bete'). While I guess I could be called a "completist", I am quite happy with one or two major releases per year if they are new works (like the recent '10th Symphony') or previously unreleased recordings (like the recent 'A Brief History of Time' score), the others I can take or leave depending on the quality of the performances; I might get the Carducci Quartet recording because I don't yet have a recording of the 'Sextet' (despite being quite content with the Kronos performances of the Fifth String Quartet and Dracula soundtrack previously released), for example. I appreciate that there is a lot of expense involved in recording some of the larger works (Symphonies, Operas, etc.) that might make them commercially unviable, and I think that OMM has done a commendable job with it's live recordings of recent operas and symphonies. And I also appreciate that some archive recordings may be of a poorer quality which OMM might be reluctant to release, so I understand the need for balance in deciding what to make available and what not to. Hopefully, if the aforementioned groundswell of artists taking up the mantle of the Glass repertoire results in more and more performances of his work, it'll will become more commercially viable to record previously unreleased material so we can all enjoy it!
I've really been enjoying the 10th, even more than I did it's prom performance (where I think the tempo of the Scherzo finale was too rushed), and I particularly like the 3 central movements (they form a kind of internal triptych within the symphony); the first part of which reminds me of a piece called 'Notes', (which Glass wrote for a short film several years ago), a section of which was used in the documentary 'Looking Glass'. Upon first hearing (the aforementioned BBC Proms broadcast) I felt the music was distinctly "nocturnal", so I wasn't surprised at all to learn that much of the original musical material was written for a fireworks display!
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Aug 3, 2015