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Cantaloupe continues its recording series of the masterworks of the music of our time with this brilliant disc of two early classics by composer Philip Glass, performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Glass is arguably minimalism\'s most well-known and influential composer. Before film soundtracks, operas, and universal acclaim, there were these intense, rugged, and demanding early works for keyboard. In \"Music in Fifths\" and \"Two Pages, Philip Glass\'s ideas are at their most basic, using only addition and subtraction of notes in simple scales to create epic and hypnotic musical forms.
With their first new studio recording since Renegade Heaven, the Bang on a Can All-Stars reconceive these works for their ground-breaking sound of clarinet, cello, bass, piano, marimba, and electric guitar. In the tradition of their award winning recording of Terry Riley\'s \"In C\" (#1 CD of 2001 by both the New York Times and the Washington Post), the musicality, passion, and focus of the All-Stars, plus the sparkling sound quality of the recording, catapult these classic works into the 21st century.
About Philip Glass
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Philip Glass is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Juilliard School. In the early 1960s, Glass spent two years of intensive study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger. While there, Glass earned money by transcribing Ravi Shankar\'s Indian music into Western notation and, upon his return to New York, applied these eastern techniques to his own music.
By 1974, Glass had a number of significant and innovative projects, creating a large collection of new music for his performing group, The Philip Glass Ensemble, and for the Mabou Mines Theater Company, which he co-founded. This period culminated in Music in Twelve Parts, followed by the landmark opera, Einstein on the Beach created with Robert Wilson in 1976.
Since Einstein, Glass has expanded his repertoire to include music for opera, dance, theater, chamber ensemble, orchestra, and film. His score for Martin Scorsese\'s Kundun received an Academy Award nomination while his score for Peter Weir\'s The Truman Show won him a Golden Globe. His most recent film score for Stephen Daldry\'s The Hours received Golden Globe, Grammy, and Academy Award nominations, along with winning the Anthony Asquith Award for Achievement in Film Music from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. In 2003, Glass premiered the opera The Sound of a Voice with David Henry Hwang, created the score to Errol Morris? new film The Fog of War, and had the CD release of Etudes for Piano Vol. I, No. 1-10 on the Orange Mountain Music label. He is currently touring with Philip on Film, performing live with his ensemble to a series of new short films as well as classics like Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, La Belle et La B?te, and Dracula.
About the Music
Music in Fifths
Music in Fifths (1969) is in \"closed form\" - a predetermined structure that ends when the accumulation of repetitions fill it out completely. Glass has always considered Music in Fifths a sort of teasing homage to [legendary pedagogue Nadia] Boulanger; it is written entirely in parallel fifths, a cardinal sin in the traditional counterpoint his teacher so carefully instructed.
Two Pages was written in 1967 or 1968. In this study in the elongation and subsequent contraction of a simple musical line, Glass explored what he called his technique of \"additive process,\" derived from his work with Shankar, in its most skeletal manifestation.
About the Bang on a Can All-Stars
Since its inception in 1987, the Bang on a Can Festival has been discovering and presenting the most exciting performers who have committed their lives to the music of our time. Over seventeen years Bang on a Can has found many of these musicians - performers who are adventurous, virtuosic, dynamic and intense, who are equally at home with the diverse styles that exist within music today. From the outset, six players in particular kept coming back. They were among the festival\'s finest artists - six of the most accomplished performers of new music in the world. With these six players the festival created the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
The instrumentation of the Bang on a Can All-Stars is unique: clarinets, electric guitar, cello, bass, keyboards, drums and percussion. Part classical ensemble, part rock band, part jazz band, it has a flexibility that represents the vision of the festival, whose artistic directors - Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe - believe in the communicative power of a wide range of musics from a new generation of composers and performers. The Bang on a Can All-Stars first major collaboration as an ensemble came in 1989 and since that time, their appearances have grown from being a regular feature of the Bang on a Can Festival to year-round appearances at concert halls and festivals worldwide. Over 15 years, the Bang on a Can All-Stars have established an international reputation for their unparalleled performances of music from the cutting edge.
The Bang on a Can All-Stars appear on Point Music/Universal, Sony Classical, Nonesuch, and Bang on a Can?s own label - Cantaloupe Music. They appear several times annually in New York at venues ranging from Lincoln Center to BAM to Carnegie Hall and tour each year throughout the U.S. and the world from the BBC proms to the Kennedy Center, from the Holland Festival to Wein Modern to the Sydney Opera House.
\"If all contemporary classical music concerts were like this, there wouldn\'t be a problem with contemporary classical music.\"
- Greg Sandow, The Wall Street Journal