PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): Days and Nights in Rocinha (Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; Dennis Russell Davies), Persephone (The Relache Ensemble; Joseph Franklin).
Catalogue Number: 10J091
Label: Orange Mountain Music
Reference: OMM 0047
Description: Two mature works (from around a decade ago) with Glass well into the 'romantic minimalism', less hard-edged than his earlier ensemble pieces, and incorporating elements of 'world music' which came to prominence especially in his scores to the two films that succeeded Koyaanisqatsi. Days and nights evokes a place in Brazil, and its most obvious antecedent from before the days when the term 'minimalism' was coined, is Ravel's Bolero, with a dash of Milhaud here and there. Over a typically subdivided pulsing bass line, the orchestra goes through the usual chord changes, with some recognisably inflections. Persephone is the score for a multi-stage theatre piece by Robert Wilson, for voices and ensemble. The various components of the stage piece explore aspects of the Persephone myth; Glass' music acts as an unifying element and chorus. It has much in common with other stage scores of the late 80s and early 90s, notably The Descent into the Maelstrom and choruses from Satyagraha and Akhnaten.