PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): Concerto grosso (Beethoven Orchestra Bonn; Dennis Russell Davies), Concerto for Saxophone Quartet (Raschèr Saxophone Quartet).
Catalogue Number: 05J116
Label: Orange Mountain Music
Reference: OMM 0042
Description: The 1992 Concerto Grosso sounds as the title implies - a lively updating of the Baroque concerto grosso, in quintessential Philip Glass style, with each movement written for a different section of the full orchestra. If you enjoyed the Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack or Philip Glass Ensemble music of the Glassworks era and would like to hear some more in orchestral garb, this is for you. Bouncy arpeggio-infested outer movements frame a nostalgically wistful slow movement with a sense of the resigned striving of the closing stages of Representative of Planet Eight. The other work exists in versions for saxophone quartet with orchestra and without - this is the one for the four soloists alone. Each movement features one instrument as 'soloist', with the remaining texture filled in by the others. The first movement is typical Glass ensemble material, but the second, a scherzo, is more fragmentary and scalar, harking back to Glass' New York experimental roots in a way - this could be a saxophone interlude to a Laurie Anderson performance. The third slow movement is melodic romantic-minimalism, and the lively finale, while repeating little bouncy fragments relies less on process methods than syncopation and sheer energy to propel it along.