"Performance Today" hosted by Fred Child will broadcast an interview with Philip Glass and the Glass Chamber Players at Caspary Auditorium will be broadcast in two parts on Performance Today, nationally on Thursday and Friday, the January 28th and 29th. The New York broadcast will have both parts on Philip Glass' 73rd birthday, January 31st. (8pm-10m on WQXR, 105.9 FM)
Part of the mission of Perofrmance Today is to take away some of the intimidation people feel when encountering classical music. The program at the Caspary Auditorium at the Rockefeller University included music by Bach, Schubert, Ravel, and complete performances of the Glass Sonata for Violin and Piano and the Glass Sextet.
The audio will be available for online streaming for one week after broadcast on the Performance Today website: www.performancetoday.org
The Three Releases now available on Amazon:
ITAIPU - Re-issue of the RCM release by the Los Angeles Master Chorale conducted by Grant Gershon paired with a re-issue of THREE SONGS for Choir a cappella.
The OMM Sampler - With a $3 price tag, you can't go wrong.
Mick Rossi - Songs from the Broken Land - Rossi is a long time member of the Philip Glass Ensemble. This collection is of piano compositions and improvisations.
It was a thrilling night indeed last night at the Apple Store in the SoHo district of New York. The way these free concerts work is a bit strange to me. Starting earlier in the day the store gives out wristbands and has people start lining up for the concert which is literally hours away. So, the entire perimeter of downstairs of the store was filled with people waiting to get in. An announcement had to be made that those without wristbands, of which there were many, would not be allowed in. The second story of the building is where the concert took place and it was closed to the non-wristband possessing public.
The program which was recorded as part of iTunes "Live from SoHo" series will be released sometime in the near future.
Glass opened with two pieces for solo piano: étude no.1 and the classic Metamorphosis No.2. The composer then introduced cellist Wendy Sutter with whom he played what was announced as two selections from The Screens but that I heard as three pieces (I think France and The Orchard were announced, but The French Leiutenant Dreams was also included.) Immediately after violinist Tim Fain who tore apart Knee Play No.2 from Einstein on the Beach. It was truly thrilling.
The Glass Chamber Players, whose debut record will be released by OMM in April, performed a rousing account of the Glass String Sextet (Symphony No.3), and the program closed with Philip and Ira Glass performing Wichita Vortex Sutra which thrilled the throngs of fans of the latter Glass' weekly radio show.
I was told the recorded sound was excellent despite the ambient noise from the large crowd and the retail store which was still open downstairs. It is not a concert hall so the acoustics situation was a tricky one. All the the pieces were acoustic with the exception of the amplified narrator on Wichita. I was sitting close to the stage but also right in front of the PA speakers. I can't attest to the amplified sound quality in the rest of the space but it sounded good up front.
It was a great festive environment. Thanks to everyone involved last night from the fully packed house (fire code limit of 300) to the musicians themselves. The "Philip Glass Live From SoHo" event was a total success.
More photos from WireImage.
For those in the New York City area, be sure to come down to the Apple Store in Soho on Prince Street this Thursday at 7PM for a free concert. Philip Glass will be making what will, in my mind, be a historic appearance presented by iTunes and Orange Mountain Music.
Glass will be performing on solo piano and be introducing the Glass Chamber Players. There will be additional selections of Glass music performed by virtuosos Wendy Sutter and Tim Fain. The grand finale will be a performance of Wichita Vortex Sutra with Glass and his cousin, the very well known and liked Ira Glass.
Venez nombreux! but as Ira says on his blog: "It's free. But you'd be smart to get there early."
When was the last time a Symphony was plugged on National TV?
Philip Glass triumphed in what is sure to be a staple of the future repertoire last night on the Colbert Report. Who would have thought we'd see Colbert holding a copy of the Toltec Symphony?
A couple behind the scenes photos are forthcoming. In the meantime, a bit of trivia: Stephen Colbert met his wife at a Philip Glass concert in South Carolina. Nothing spells romance like Hydrogen Jukebox.
Sequenza 21 covered the event.
I cannot provide an objective review of OMM's Showcase last night at LPR but I'll call it a success all the same. The showcase started off with Trevor Gureckis' 10 minute suite from LES ADIEUX. I've heard this piece three times now and I know some of Trevor's other music. The best part about it is that it's not ostensibly derivative of any other composer, all the while being listenable. It's a young and tentative voice which will grow louder as time goes by. I say this with righteous content in my voice as I feel very strongly about composers who "earnestly" compose their own music but seem simultaneously and deeply indebted to other living composers. I will not name names...
The second set featured the "FOJOTO STRING BAND" of Joel Harrison, Tony Trischka, and old-friend Foday Musa Suso. They performed a half-hour set which people seemed to enjoy. It was mostly a jam-session with the loveliest textures coming from the marriage of Suso's kora and Trischhka's banjo. Suso's got this presence which people love. I first heard him at Harvard probably ten years ago playing music from the Screens. That piece seems to be a never-ending font of inspiration as Glass is still touring selections from it in his continuing chamber music concerts. Wendy Sutter was due to perform a solo cello suite by Joel Harrison, but fell ill and couldn't perform. It was a reason that the set ended up being somewhat informal.
The final part of the show was a set of music by Mick Rossi. Mick is a really dynamic musician. Not only does he compose and play a bunch of instruments, but he's a great guy. Rossi has been a member of the Philip Glass Ensemble for quite a long time, and this last summer was music director for THE BACCHAE in Central Park, to which he added some of his own music to bring the whole thing together. His set was pretty coherent in its variety. His record SONGS FROM THE BROKEN LAND will be released on Orange Mountain Music later this month.
I thank all of those who came out. Not planning ahead, I ended up being MC for the festivities. I thank the tolerant victims of my winging-it. This was really an opportunity for Philip Glass' record label to support these artists who have worked with and interacted musically for the past 10-20 years.
For those interested in the physical OMM sampler, it will be available on Amazon.com soon.