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Philip Glass

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NEWS
February 27, 1988 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
The theater pieces by Philip Glass support strong visual pictures with inchoate sound images made by repeating tiny particles at such length that image finally is implied rather than achieved. In his concert last night with woodwind virtuoso Jon Gibson, Glass presented his audience at the Painted Bride Arts Center with a theatrical visual image - that of the composer at the piano. Strong lights over his head, a stage decorated with 14 feet of music paper stretched across seven music stands, Glass looked to be reinterpreting the romantic painting of Liszt amid his admirers.
NEWS
October 3, 1988 | By William B. Collins, Inquirer Theater Critic
When Philip Glass met his public recently at the University of the Arts, a man in the audience asked a question framed along the following lines: "I go to operas by Verdi and Wagner as well as by you. I enjoy them all. But I notice that young people do not show up for Wagner and Verdi. They do turn out in great numbers for you. "What have you got that Verdi and Wagner don't have?" It was the best question I have ever heard asked at one of these open forums on the arts.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Philip Glass has been such a constant compositional presence over the last 40 years that only with the arrival of his memoir, Words Without Music (W.W. Norton & Co. $29.95), do you realize how long overdue it is. The book chronicles his Baltimore upbringing, education in Paris, and travels in Europe and India. But it rightly touches on only the major works of his early and middle periods, gracefully leaving the reader to conclude how much the 78-year-old Glassv - who will appear at the Free Library on Tuesday evening - has changed the cutting-edge music world, how that world is run, how pieces are made and disseminated, and the value of his having saved serious music from the hegemony of modernism.
NEWS
January 8, 1987 | By Nancy Goldner, Inquirer Dance Critic
Philip Glass has become the darling of the dance set. Nine and a half of every 10 choreographers have created dances to his music - ranging from the reigning American classicist, Jerome Robbins at the New York City Ballet, down to any John Doe who can afford the royalties. But only with a new dance by Twyla Tharp, which was shown at the Annenberg Center last night, does the whole love affair with Glass make sense. I still don't think that Glass is a genius, but he has found his voice, his justification, in Tharp, who is a genius.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 1994 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Philip Glass, creator of historical stage epics as big as Wagner's and composer of mysterious shifting meters and rhythmic patterns, has always written in a private language. It is a language that has been heard and enjoyed by rock and classical audiences alike, but one that was almost invariably interpreted by Glass' own musicians - and for good reason: Mainstream musicians and ensembles just aren't comfortable with the music. When the Philadelphia Orchestra, to give an example, played excerpts from Glass' operas, it was an exercise in incomprehension and foot-dragging.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 8, 1988 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Staff Writer
Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi, released in 1983, was described by one critic as "the trip film of the '80s. " With its wordless, whirring series of images, its accelerated time-lapse photography and an incantatory score by minimalist maestro Philip Glass, the film was a sensorial blitzkrieg - a wow, man! barrage of mesmerizing, tranquil landscapes juxtaposed against scenes of high-tech, high-anxiety living. But like the trip films of the '60s, if you weren't in tune with the "experience," you were just sitting in the theater like a bump on a log - or a lump on a frog - wondering what the big deal was. Powaqqatsi, the second in a planned trio of qatsi pics (the word is from the Hopi Indians and means "life"; Powaqa refers to a bad sorcerer who thrives at the expense of others)
ENTERTAINMENT
April 19, 1995 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
You have to make some choices when you're in the presence of La Belle et la Bete, the "opera for ensemble and film" by Philip Glass. There's the minimalist composer's freshly minted score, which rings and pulsates with a kind of emotional intensity that the original film music by Georges Auric lacked. There's the added aesthetic layer of live operatic voices. With the original soundtrack blotted out, the live singers earnestly (though not always accurately) follow the lips of the on-screen actors and shuffle about the stage from spotlight to spotlight.
NEWS
April 16, 2008 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Success was all but decreed for Chinese composer Tan Dun and his Piano Concerto, premiered over the weekend by Lang Lang and the New York Philharmonic. Philip Glass returned to the grand opera stage with a new production of Satyagraha at the Metropolitan Opera, and the young, pierced-and-tattooed audience - plus a flock of Tibetan monks - were all set to adore the opera, seemingly no matter what happened. Both events had more in common than their prestigious circumstances. These composers seem oddly immune to failure.
NEWS
April 15, 1987 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
A Composer's Notes pretends to be an intimate look at the process, from inception to execution, of creating Philip Glass' 1985 opera Akhnaten. Given its subject, the minimalist celebrated by both vanguardists and classicists, and his subject, the Pharaoh who promoted monotheism, this movie should be as exciting as looking inside Arnold Schoenberg's brain as he composed Moses and Aaron. It isn't. Michael Blackwood's reverent documentary sits at the composer's feet and gazes up, awestruck.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 1, 2002 | By Steven Rea INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Remember the little movie-within-the-movie in The Parallax View, with Warren Beatty hunkering down in a tiny theater and watching a flash-cut barrage of sex-and-violence-laced, flag-waving, mom-and-apple pie images - a brainwashing recruitment flick for future assassins? Godfrey Reggio's Naqoyqatsi - the third installment in his Qatsi trilogy - is like the feature-length version of the Parallax Corp.'s training film. Taking its title from the Hopi word meaning "war as a way of life," Naqoyqatsi is a nonstop, non-narrative stream of goose-stepping soldiers, mushrooming mushroom clouds, warheads heading for war, and children's faces staring into the radioactive skyscape of an apocalyptic future.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Philip Glass has been such a constant compositional presence over the last 40 years that only with the arrival of his memoir, Words Without Music (W.W. Norton & Co. $29.95), do you realize how long overdue it is. The book chronicles his Baltimore upbringing, education in Paris, and travels in Europe and India. But it rightly touches on only the major works of his early and middle periods, gracefully leaving the reader to conclude how much the 78-year-old Glassv - who will appear at the Free Library on Tuesday evening - has changed the cutting-edge music world, how that world is run, how pieces are made and disseminated, and the value of his having saved serious music from the hegemony of modernism.
NEWS
February 17, 2014 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
Godfrey Reggio wants us all to take a breath, to be still. In Visitors , which had its world premiere in September at the Toronto International Film Festival, the experimental filmmaker serves up slow-motion black-and-white close-ups of people, and meditative pans of buildings and landscapes. The ambitious project moves to a rhythm that we have become entirely unaccustomed to. "I wanted something extremely slow," says Reggio, whose first film, 1982's Koyaanisqatsi , presented a pixilated, time-lapse record of a world out of balance, overpopulated, undernourished, despoiling itself - all to a pulsing Philip Glass score.
NEWS
April 26, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Icarus without feathers - and with a semi-happy ending - can still be Icarus. In a new version created jointly by physicist/author Brian Greene, playwright David Henry Hwang, and composer Philip Glass, the paragon of youthful hubris lives in an age well beyond the wax wings of antiquity, piloting a spacecraft that veers too close to a black hole. You might think you know the rest, but Icarus at the Edge of Time , which enveloped Verizon Hall on Wednesday with a huge video screen, narrator, and the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, has a smarter message: Respect the unknown.
NEWS
April 21, 2013
Sunday Royal performances The pastiche ballet La Fille Mal Gardée made its debut in 1789, two weeks before the fall of the Bastille. The comic work has been revived in many forms since, but it's Frederick Ashton's 1960 adaptation that has taken first place for the last half-century. A film of the Royal Ballet's recent production screens at 12:30 p.m. at the County Theater , 20 E. State St., Doylestown. Tickets are $18. Call 215-348-3456. . . . Tchaikovsky's best opera, Eugene Onegin , is a sublime adaptation of Pushkin's tale of a selfish and destructive nobleman.
NEWS
April 21, 2013 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
If there's one thing Ira Glass knows, it's that you can't put a dance performance on the radio. The public radio journalist, who hosts NPR's popular weekly newsmagazine This American Life , was hit with that truth - and the resulting conundrum - two years ago when he fell in love with a performance by New York choreographer Monica Bill Barnes' modern dance ensemble. "I was struck by how the aesthetics of her show matched the tone and feeling of the radio show I do," Glass, 54, said this week in a phone interview.
NEWS
April 19, 2013 | By Molly Eichel
I RA GLASS is the Jessica Simpson of public radio. Not the new, pregnant designer Jessica Simpson. The old, singing, can't dance a lick Jessica Simpson. That Jessica used to surround herself with dancers to hide her own immobility. And that brings us to Glass. The "This American Life" host will present the world premiere of "One Radio Show, Two Dancers," a night of stories and dance, courtesy of Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass , Saturday and Sunday at the Annenberg Center.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 14, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Curtis Chamber Orchestra is hitting the road with its customary vigor and intelligence, though its program - performed Monday at the Kimmel Center, subsequently in Washington and New York - was a this-and-that calling card perhaps aimed more at establishing the Curtis Institute identity than at making a cohesive artistic statement. The exterior conceit in this concert, presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, was a musical meeting ground between two starry Curtis graduates from different generations, violinists Jennifer Koh (2002)
NEWS
March 8, 2010 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
A change of venue, some unlikely collaborators, and a forward-looking program conspired to give the Philadelphia Singers a near-full house at the 970-seat Zellerbach Theatre for Saturday's "Glass, Reich, Bryars" concert. Artistically, it was nearly all it promised to be. The program's supposed big deal - the first live performance of the already-recorded 1994 Persephone by Philip Glass - was pleasant enough, though Steve Reich's You Are (Variations) was the primary triumph for the combined Philadelphia Singers, Relache ensemble, and Orchestra 2001.
NEWS
April 16, 2008 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Success was all but decreed for Chinese composer Tan Dun and his Piano Concerto, premiered over the weekend by Lang Lang and the New York Philharmonic. Philip Glass returned to the grand opera stage with a new production of Satyagraha at the Metropolitan Opera, and the young, pierced-and-tattooed audience - plus a flock of Tibetan monks - were all set to adore the opera, seemingly no matter what happened. Both events had more in common than their prestigious circumstances. These composers seem oddly immune to failure.
NEWS
May 9, 2005 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
New music has long gravitated toward the portrayal of dream states. When it is less tethered to any particular key center, music more easily becomes less graphic and more otherworldly. It's a tendency composer Sebastian Currier explores to maximum effect in Nightmaze, a multimedia piece about a highway road trip that goes places Thelma and Louise never imagined. Premiered by Network for New Music Friday at Temple University's Rock Hall, Nightmaze is based on a scenario by novelist Thomas Bolt.
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