Simple gifts – Philip Glass

As we prepare for Philip Glass’ seventieth birthday on 31st January 2007 his Etudes for solo piano have been one of my great discoveries of 2006. There is a variety in these beautiful miniatures that I sometimes find lacking in his more elaborate compositions. Glass’ own recording on Orange Mountain Music is definitive, and the composer really says it all in the sleeve note: ’The Etudes began for me in the mid-90s and I am still adding new music to this collection as I write these notes in 2003. Their purpose was two-fold. First, to provide new music for my solo piano concerts. And second, for me to expand my piano technique with music that would enhance and challenge my playing. Hence, the name Etudes, or “studies”. The result is a body of work that has a broad range of dynamic, tempo and emotion.'

Simple music, simple gift, and simply great. And now read Philip Glass explaining that World Music is the new classical

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