As a senior citizen, Philip Glass has turned increasingly to classical forms, not only the symphony but concertos and others. He has not abandoned his characteristic minimalist sound but uses the rough sonata form in the first movement, of 2017's Symphony No. 11, heard here as a kind of ornament to it. His orchestral palette is larger than before, and these factors together have had the effect of attracting British and continental European orchestras and audiences to the composer's work. One of those is the Bruckner Orchester Linz, conducted here by Glass champion Dennis Russell Davies. It works, for this is a rather Brucknerian score from Glass, with a large orchestra and a prominent tuba part weaving itself in and out of the music. Sample the catchy (for Glass) opening of the third movement, which also illustrates the usual high-production quality from Glass' Orange Mountain Music. This work has already been performed by several orchestras and is looking promising for regular repertory inclusion. But it's unlikely that any will far exceed this confident, committed, and warm reading.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Symphony No. 11|