Philip Glass: The Concerto Project, Vol. 4

Residentie Orkest Den Haag / Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra

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Philip Glass: The Concerto Project, Vol. 4 Review

by Stephen Eddins

Two of Philip Glass' concertos are included in Vol. 4 of The Concerto Project, a series that began in 2004 and eventually should include all of the composer's many works in this genre. Glass wrote the Double Concerto, for violin, cello, and orchestra in 2010 on a commission from Nederlands Dans Theater for music to be used to accompany a ballet. The work's most striking feature is its structure; the violin and cello have four unaccompanied duets that are separated by the three main orchestral movements, in which the soloists are deployed somewhat more traditionally, even though their parts don't offer as much contrast with the orchestra's as in a conventional concerto. Otherwise the concerto doesn't break new ground for the composer; its harmonies are reminiscent of his orchestral and operatic works starting in the 1990s. Violinist Tim Fain and cellist Wendy Sutter are accompanied by the Hague Philharmonic conducted by Jurgen Hempel. The Tirol Concerto for piano and orchestra dates from 2000 and was given its premiere the same year by the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, led by longtime Glass advocate Dennis Russell Davies, who performs it for this recording. The title comes from the fact that the concerto's commission was supported by the Tirol Tourist Board. The long lyrical lines that characterize some of the piano's part in the concerto differ from the composer's characteristically active, patterned piano writing. Davies both plays the piano part and conducts the orchestra. Orange Mountain's sound is clean and clear and there is good balance between the soloists and orchestra.

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