PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): Symphony No. 7 "Toltec".
Catalogue Number: 01L009
Label: Orange Mountain Music
Description: "Based around a (very) loosely programmatic notion of the trinity at the centre of the pre-Mayan Toltec culture's spiritual practices, the work is comprised of three movements, each named for one part of that trinity. The tightly-conceived first movement employs the fundamental elements of Glass-style in a more eclectic and sinewy pattern. Those elements are augmented with very varied scoring including a liberally employed shaker and some clacking castanets and a balanced and effective structural design. The second movement has real flair; it expands upon and adds to the frolicking but evocative material of the first through chanting wordless voices, driving and dancing rhythms and welcome chromatic colourings from the orchestra. The finale is more adventurous still. Glass uses an unusual syntax where panels of music, each cumulatively building in weight and size, are framed by very loud silences. The stop-start motion could be tricky to make coherent, but Russell Davies excelled, very deliberately managing each outburst before a stunning final climax, and a graceful cadential paragraph." - Stephen Graham, MusicalCriticism.com. Linz Opera Chorus, Bruckner Orchester Linz; Dennis Russell Davies.