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Symphony No. 3

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    Philip Glass, called "the best-known composer of art music in America, if not the world” by the Los Angeles Times, has been largely recognized for his pioneering work in the genres of film music and opera. An ever-important part of his compositional output, however, is spent on symphonic works. This album covers the composer’s work in both the operatic and symphonic mediums, beginning with the world premiere recording of his Symphony No. 3.

    Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 3 received its premiere performance by the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in 1995, with the renowned conductor Dennis Russell Davies at the podium. The piece was written earlier that year at the request of Davies, who asked for a work that would showcase all of the orchestra’s string players individually. It is constructed in a compact four-movement form, the structure of a true symphony, although Glass’s Symphony No. 3 is more aptly described as a symphony for strings.

    The composer, in his program notes on the work, describes the opening movement of the work as a quiet, moderately paced prelude to movements two and three, the main body of the symphony. The second movement mode of fast-moving compound meters explores the textures from unison to multi-harmonic writing for the whole ensemble, while the third movement is in the form of a chaconne, a repeated harmony sequence. The fourth and final movement, a short finale, quickly refers back to the compound meters introduced in the second movement, followed by a new closing theme which brings the symphony to its to conclusion.

    Symphony No. 3 was recorded by Dennis Russell Davies and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in 1996, and it has since been performed by a number of chamber orchestras worldwide.

    The Voyage (1990), commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera Association in commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World, premiered in New York in 1992. Written as an opera in three acts with a prologue and epilogue, the opera features a story by the composer with a libretto by David Henry Hwang (author of “M. Butterfly”). The Prologue takes place in the present; Act I, 15,000 years ago; Act II in 1942; Act III in 2092; and the Epilogue presents Columbus on his deathbed preparing for his last journey to the stars. The Voyage is intended as an examination of the human urge to discover and its consequences, using Columbus as an example, rather than an attempt to engage in the historical debate that has surrounded Columbus’s arrival in the Western Hemisphere. Included on this recording is the Mechanical Ballet, an excerpt from The Voyage, performed by the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.

    The Light is a one-movement work written in 1987 to commemorate the anniversary of the Michelson-Morley experiment at Case Western Reserve University in 1887. Their research, critical to scientists of the time, disproved the notion of an "ether" in the atmosphere, which scientists believed filled all space, and also defined the uniformity of the speed of light in every direction, regardless of the movement of the earth. For Glass, these experiments marked the transition from 19th-century physics to the onset of modern scientific research. He responded with The Light, a work he describes as a kind of portrait, not only to the two men for whom the experiments are named, but also for the historical moment that heralded the beginning of the modern scientific period. It receives its first recording here by the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.

    Rounding out this set are excerpts from Glass’s opera the CIVIL warS, a collaboration with Robert Wilson originally intended to be presented in Los Angeles at the Olympic Arts Festival in 1984. Although the funds to stage Wilson’s epic production (which included commissions from four European countries, Japan, and the US) were never raised, a recording of Glass’s contribution “Act V: a tree is best measured when it is down,” was completed. Included on this latest disc are Interludes # 1 and # 2, released previously on a complete recording of the work in 1999.

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra (1-5, 7)
    Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (6, 8)

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Produced by Michael Riesman for Euphorbia Productions, Ltd.
    Recorded September 1996 at the Austrian Broadcasting (ORF) Studios, Vienna
    Engineer: Anton Reininger
    Assistant Engineers: Robert Pavlecka, Stefan Lainer
    Mixed at the Looking Glass Studios, New York
    Engineer: Martin Czembor
    Assistant Engineer: Ryoji Hata

    All compositions by Philip Glass

    Design by Frank Olinsky
    Cover photograph: Desert Form #1 (New Mexico) by William Clift. © 1984 William Clift.

    Executive Producer: Kurt Munkacsi

nonesuch's picture
on May 29, 2008 - 7:14pm
Release Date: 
Friday, May 26, 2000 (All day)
Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

79581

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
47
120
Monday, May 1, 2000 (All day)
0
0
Artist Name: 
Philip Glass
genre: 
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
UPC: 
603497126163
Price: 
0.00
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
075597958126BUN
Price: 
0.00
Label: 
CD
Description: 

Philip Glass, called "the best-known composer of art music in America, if not the world” by the Los Angeles Times, has been largely recognized for his pioneering work in the genres of film music and opera. An ever-important part of his compositional output, however, is spent on symphonic works. This album covers the composer’s work in both the operatic and symphonic mediums, beginning with the world premiere recording of his Symphony No. 3.

Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 3 received its premiere performance by the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in 1995, with the renowned conductor Dennis Russell Davies at the podium. The piece was written earlier that year at the request of Davies, who asked for a work that would showcase all of the orchestra’s string players individually. It is constructed in a compact four-movement form, the structure of a true symphony, although Glass’s Symphony No. 3 is more aptly described as a symphony for strings.

The composer, in his program notes on the work, describes the opening movement of the work as a quiet, moderately paced prelude to movements two and three, the main body of the symphony. The second movement mode of fast-moving compound meters explores the textures from unison to multi-harmonic writing for the whole ensemble, while the third movement is in the form of a chaconne, a repeated harmony sequence. The fourth and final movement, a short finale, quickly refers back to the compound meters introduced in the second movement, followed by a new closing theme which brings the symphony to its to conclusion.

Symphony No. 3 was recorded by Dennis Russell Davies and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in 1996, and it has since been performed by a number of chamber orchestras worldwide.

The Voyage (1990), commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera Association in commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World, premiered in New York in 1992. Written as an opera in three acts with a prologue and epilogue, the opera features a story by the composer with a libretto by David Henry Hwang (author of “M. Butterfly”). The Prologue takes place in the present; Act I, 15,000 years ago; Act II in 1942; Act III in 2092; and the Epilogue presents Columbus on his deathbed preparing for his last journey to the stars. The Voyage is intended as an examination of the human urge to discover and its consequences, using Columbus as an example, rather than an attempt to engage in the historical debate that has surrounded Columbus’s arrival in the Western Hemisphere. Included on this recording is the Mechanical Ballet, an excerpt from The Voyage, performed by the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.

The Light is a one-movement work written in 1987 to commemorate the anniversary of the Michelson-Morley experiment at Case Western Reserve University in 1887. Their research, critical to scientists of the time, disproved the notion of an "ether" in the atmosphere, which scientists believed filled all space, and also defined the uniformity of the speed of light in every direction, regardless of the movement of the earth. For Glass, these experiments marked the transition from 19th-century physics to the onset of modern scientific research. He responded with The Light, a work he describes as a kind of portrait, not only to the two men for whom the experiments are named, but also for the historical moment that heralded the beginning of the modern scientific period. It receives its first recording here by the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Rounding out this set are excerpts from Glass’s opera the CIVIL warS, a collaboration with Robert Wilson originally intended to be presented in Los Angeles at the Olympic Arts Festival in 1984. Although the funds to stage Wilson’s epic production (which included commissions from four European countries, Japan, and the US) were never raised, a recording of Glass’s contribution “Act V: a tree is best measured when it is down,” was completed. Included on this latest disc are Interludes # 1 and # 2, released previously on a complete recording of the work in 1999.

DescriptionExcerpt: 

This 1995 work for the Stuttgart Chamber Symphony, notes the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, shows Glass moving "away from slowly changing patterns to greater expression and orchestral color ... Certainly his mastery of string writing is abundantly clear." Also included are scenes from the opera The Voyage, marking the 500th anniversary of Columbus's arrival in the New World; excerpts from the 1984 Robert Wilson collaboration the CIVIL warS; and the world-premiere recording of The Light.

ProductionCredits: 

MUSICIANS
Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra (1-5, 7)
Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (6, 8)

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced by Michael Riesman for Euphorbia Productions, Ltd.
Recorded September 1996 at the Austrian Broadcasting (ORF) Studios, Vienna
Engineer: Anton Reininger
Assistant Engineers: Robert Pavlecka, Stefan Lainer
Mixed at the Looking Glass Studios, New York
Engineer: Martin Czembor
Assistant Engineer: Ryoji Hata

All compositions by Philip Glass

Design by Frank Olinsky
Cover photograph: Desert Form #1 (New Mexico) by William Clift. © 1984 William Clift.

Executive Producer: Kurt Munkacsi