Like Low before it, Heroes was one of David Bowie's most experimental and avant-garde records, so it made sense that Philip Glass would follow the Low Symphony with the "Heroes" Symphony, adapting Bowie and Brian Eno's original, minimalistic synthesized sketches for full orchestra. Surprisingly, Glass' arrangements and orchestrations -- including charting the title track for a big band -- are less adventurous than the original recordings, which actually robs the music of its impact. However, the new arrangements emphasize the icy allure of the original compositions, and the shimmering, glassy textures sound coldly beautiful. Nevertheless, the "Heroes" Symphony doesn't quite hold together as an actual symphony, but it remains an intriguing listen, even if it is a disarmingly unchallenging one.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
|Symphony No. 4 ("Heroes"), for orchestra|