Phillip Glass "Phillip Glass Solo"
Orange Mountain Music presents “Philip Glass Solo” a collection of Glass performing some of his most enduring and beloved piano works.
Philip Glass Solo was recorded at a time when the world was undergoing a major shift—for Glass, that shift manifested in going from a busy tour and premiere schedule to time spent at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The storied musician dedicated this time to revisiting some of his older piano music, occasionally reacquainting himself with these old friends, playing them for an audience of one in his home studio in New York. It is his most personal record to date, offering a snapshot of his life, and a portrait of daily practice over eight decades through several cherished works.
Now 86, Glass reflects, “This record revisits my works for piano. From 2020-2021, I had time at home to practice the works I have played for many years. This record is both a time capsule of 2021, and a reflection on decades of composition and practice. In other words, a document on my current thinking about the music. There is also the question of place. This is my piano, the instrument on which most of the music was written. It’s also the same room where I have worked for decades in the middle of the energy which New York City itself has brought to me. The listener may hear the quiet hum of New York in the background or feel the influence of time and memory that this space affords. To the degree possible, I made this record to invite the listener in.”
Philip Glass Solo opens with “Opening,” originally written for the 1982 album Glassworks, which remains one of Glass’ most transfixing pieces and established a sound that quickly became a calling card. Next we hear Mad Rush, one of his most beloved pieces and longest performances on record (at 16:35), which he composed originally as an organ piece in 1978 when the Dalai Lama made his first public address in New York. This is followed by Metamorphosis I, II, III, and V, the series of music Glass arranged for his first solo piano concerts in the 1980s; the album ends with a reworked version of “Truman Sleeps” from the soundtrack of the beloved 90s film The Truman Show, where Glass appeared on screen performing the piano in one of the pivotal scenes of the film. His changes to the piece speak to the heart of all artists’ evolution of both themselves, and their music, over time.