Dennis Russell Davies / Philip Glass

Philip Glass: Symphony No. 3

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Philip Glass is an iconoclast, and as such, probably one of the best-known composers of the late 20th century. These recordings made in 1996 focus on compositions written between 1984 and 1995.

Glass's Symphony No. 3 pulses and breathes like a living being. Given the composer's intent to treat each performer as a soloist, the 19 piece Stuttgart Chamber Symphony is remarkably successful in creating such a tight performance. Building his melody with the orchestra's pizzicato delivery, Glass creates a truly exhilarating experience.

Interlude No. 2, written for Robert Wilson's stage production 'The CIVIL warS,' is a change for Glass, a more relaxed, sweeping composition. Beginning with strings providing a serene texture like ripples on a lake, the rhythmic melody builds in layers.

'The Light' eschews the biological for an even more primal pulse. Inspired by Glass's interest in physics and space, it is meant to depict the essence of light. Building in pace and vibrance, the music constantly unfolds new permutations before the audience. Is it a new creation, or the discovery of some immortal truth, one that was always before our eyes? Glass's music inspires that sense of wonderment.

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