Quartets No. 1–5
Like many composers before him, Philip Glass saved some of his most personal and reflective music for his string quartets.
“In an odd way, string quartets have always functioned like that for composers. I don’t really know why, but it’s almost impossible to get away from it. It’s the way composers of the past have thought and that’s no less true for me.”
His first five quartets span a period of twenty five years and display some of his most profound and powerful music. His Quartet No. 1 was written in 1966 and is a great example of his early style in the use of repetitive structures, a precursor to his famous Minimalist style.
Quartet No. 2 ‘Company’ and Quartet No. 3 ‘Mishima’ were written for stage and screen respectively. Quartet No. 4 was written in memory of the artist Brian Buczak. These three works are emotional, reflective and have a very personal quality, while the final Quartet No. 5 displays a vast range of colour and mood.