Sunday, 23 October 2011

Minimal – Philip Glass at 75

Tramway, Glasgow, Saturday October 29; Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow,
Sunday October 30.

How fragile is Glass? And how shattering? Audiences have had plenty of
time of late to ponder the cause and effect of veteran New York
composer Philip Glass' considerable body of work. Glass himself
appeared with his Ensemble to perform the dizzying soundtracks to
Godfrey Reggio's Qatsi trilogy of films as part of Edinburgh
International Festival. Hot on its heels came a performance of '1000
Airplanes On The Roof,' the Glass-scored 'science-fiction opera',
featuring The Red Note Ensemble playing beneath a Concorde in a hangar
at the National Museum of Flight.

The latter performance is repeated, sans Concorde, as part of the
self-explanatory Minimal festival, which this year celebrates Glass'
seventy-fifth birthday with a weekend programme split between Glasgow
Royal Concert Hall and Tramway. As well as '1000 Airplanes On The
Roof,' avant-chamber group Bang On A Can will present free afternoon
programmes at both venues showcasing some of Glass' cutting-edge New
York heirs, while a Saturday teatime Tramway show features some of the
elder statesman's more hardcore concoctions.

More intimate should be The Smith Quartet's renditions of Glass's
string-works, while the Scottish Ensemble will feature violinist Robert
McDuffie playing a double bill of Vivaldi's Four Seasons alongside
Glass' The American Seasons, written especially for McDuffie. Moving
beyond Glass even further, Bang On A Can and Red Note will converge for
the weekend's final performance of Music For Airports, Brian Eno's 1978
suite that formed the first of his self-styled 'Ambient' series, pretty
much inventing chill-out rooms as he went.

The List, October 2011

ends

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