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Solo Piano

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Solo Piano + Glassworks + The Essential Philip Glass
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Product Details

  • Performer: Philip Glass
  • Composer: Glass Philip
  • Audio CD (Nov. 2 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • ASIN: B0000026Y4
  • Other Editions: Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,706 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Metamorphosis: Metamorphosis One
2. Metamorphosis: Metamorphosis Two
3. Metamorphosis: Metamorphosis Three
4. Metamorphosis: Metamorphosis Four
5. Metamorphosis: Metamorphosis Five
6. Metamorphosis: Mad Rush
7. Metamorphosis: Wichita Sutra Vortex

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Adam on Dec 12 2003
Format: Audio CD
I think that perhaps many of you who are bashing Glass's works would do well to research 20th century music. Philip Glass was a minimalist composer, meaning that he sought to compose music in reduced means, limiting it to the most basic elements. I have seen comments questioning his musicality about his use of chord progressions and repetition, however this is what minimalism is! If you will note some of his contemporaries (such as Steve Reich and John Adams) you will note similar traits among them all. Perhaps those of you who find Glass's music as mediocre should first reserch 20th centrury music. There are many genres for this period in music. I understand if you do not like this style of music, but do not be so quick to degrade it without even researching the principles and ideals behind it!
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Format: Audio CD
The playing was graceful with subtle nuances. While Glass's interpretation was not exactly as he has published this music for Chester Music, it is he who wrote it all in the first place.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By derrotista on Feb. 18 2004
Format: Audio CD
Music in late XX century needed a review. Things went too far from Stravinsky and Prokofiev to Stockhausen and Boulez, passing through Berg and Schönberg. All has been invented in the XX Century. What should be the new proposals?
Glass is one of the new composers. Too tight to New Age, he has been compared to Nyman and Mertens, because of the usage of a term: minimalism. And in this CD, Glass is really close to this concept, and far from his biggest operas.
Minimalism is repetition. One should consider this a joke, but it is a new concept. And like any other new proposal, it is of the greatest importance in the music of the second part of last century.
However, Glass could have made real variations of his Metemorphosis in order to be a little less minimalist. Number One and Number Five are almost the same. Number Four is my favourite.
In fact, Einstein on the Beach, Akhnaten and Satyagraha are more solid, but this album is a very good way to understand what can be classic and brand-new at the same time.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. BEILER on June 16 2004
Format: Audio CD
With its minimalistic, repetitive chords and rhythms, the music in these pieces contains little in the way of traditional "development." This music progresses by flowing along rather than by forming an elaborate structure. As I listen, I feel as if I'm on a treadmill, sometimes walking faster, sometimes slower, but not really getting anywhere. My mind wanders, and I find myself thinking about other things rather than about the music. Perhaps this is how Glass wanted it to be. He has written a lot of film music, and much of his music does, indeed, seem like accompaniment.
This is not unpleasant music. But I find it something less than totally rewarding--seems more like the composition of a amateur.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 58 reviews
73 of 78 people found the following review helpful
Meditative miracle Oct. 9 2000
By Paul Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is one of my favorite Glass CDs. Repetitive like alot of Glass's work, the fine shades of difference create a meditative miracle to the ear. Metamorphosis was written in 1988 and takes its title from a play based on Kafka's short story. Numbers three and four are from Glass's incidental music to the play. Numbers one and two use themes from Glass's soundtrack to the acclaimed Errol Morris film The Thin Blue Line. Mad Rush was written for the occasion of the Dalai Lama's first public address in New York City, in the fall of 1981. Originally an open-structured or open-ended piece, it was first performed by Glass on organ during the Dalai Lama's entrance into the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Wichita Vortex Sutra is the result of a chance meeting between two long-time friends, Glass and poet Allen Ginsberg, in St. Mark's Books, a popular bookstore in the East Village. This CD will recieve alot of play time because it can be listened to with headphones or played as a background while you read a novel or work.
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Songs for a Rainy Day Sept. 25 2005
By Roland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This all piano recording is some of the most minimal of all Glass compositions - so in order to find this appealing the listener should be a decided fan of minimalism. That being said, it is fine music indeed, Glass uses his bittersweet motifs throughout the recording, lots of repetition on a few basic chords. Mad Rush is I believe one of his best, most signature works of all time, because it totally captures his

use of counterpoint to an effect of an ethereal auditory ambience. Mad Rush alone makes this worth buying.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Amazing Aug. 12 2008
By D. DAEDALUS - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Don't play this in an elevator; don't play this while you make dinner; don't play this on a Sunday afternoon while you read; don't play this while you watch tv; don't play this while you put away the clothes; don't play this in your car; don't play this while you're getting ready for work in the morning or going to bed at night; don't play this while you're having a conversation with a friend on the phone whom you haven't seen in three years. Play this when you are ready to stop and listen. Don't even think. If you are able to listen and lose thought, you'll enjoy this music.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Challenging, thought-provoking, and not for everyone.... Jan. 14 2000
By Ms.Frigga - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I've been a fan of Glass for over 15 years, mostly because I've always found his music - not just beautiful - but challenging as well. The challenge is not just whether the music is 'good' or worthy of being part of the classical 'canon' (not all of his - or any composer's music is), but that it almost always provokes the question: what is - or what constitutes - a piece of music, classical or otherwise. The 'challenge' of Glass' music often shows itself in listener's remarks when they describe his work as stark or repetitive or minimal or just plain bad. For many, his work just doesn't fit the classical or formal mold. For this reason, some attempt to categorize his work as 'ambient' or 'new age', but all this does is invoke the same aesthetic questions about the categories themselves, rather than what criteria qualifies a work of music for a category. At the level of critique, Glass' music is almost always provocative. To be more specific, what makes this work so moving and beautiful is that the composition is both simple AND complex, and both aspects are served well by the straightforwardness and purity of the solo piano. There is a sad tranquility in this music that I haven't found in too many other works of music. One reviewer here referred to this work as a "con job" - that anyone could do it. I disagree. I think the reason Glass' music is not more popular is precisely what makes it so compelling - like the theory of relativity: so few people truly 'get it', but those that do recognize it's profound truth.
32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Great music, bad playing Aug. 3 2005
By JJM Peters - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Here is a great example of why a composer should not always play his own music. These pieces by Glass are small jewels, all of them. Minimalistic and extremely melancholical (as only Glass can be) they exert the most effect with a minimum of means and they have become the benchmark for melancholy minimalism (just listen to the soundtrack of Amélie for a beautiful spin-off of Glass' Metamorphosis).

However, Glass is obviously not a great pianist and his playing gets strained (even extremely a-rythmical) when the parts get more difficult to play (rapid figures and contrasting rythms are simply not easy to play). The not very well articulating instrument used in this recording does not help a bit. I feel that for this music to have the best effect it should be played as clean and rythmic as possible and, sorry Mr Glass, this playing does not live up to that expectation.

Ironically, I once saw an interview with Glass in which he complained that conductors often underestimate the difficulty of his music, well, it seems that composer and conductors alike are tarred with the same brush...