Wednesday, 8 June 2016
Philip Glass - How Now, etc (Steffen Schleiermacher organ/piano, rel. 2010)
Music In Similar Motion and Music In Fifths, both composed in 1969, were originally written and recorded as works for a small ensemble, but on this recording Schleiermacher strips them down to just a single organ to great effect; the gradually evolving patterns are laid bare and the single instrument arguably enhances the hypnotic potential. In between these two on this programme is a piano version of How Now (1968), which I also have on a recording of Glass' debut concert performance (released on his archival imprint). On that occasion, Glass performed How Now on organ for a patience-stretching half hour, but the piece is transformed in Schleiermacher's hands into a calm, extended meditation that Erik Satie might've been proud of. If you're looking for the minimal, engrossing magic of early Philip Glass, you'll scarcely find it more perfectly expressed than on this release.
music with repetitive structures