Saturday night’s performance of Symphony No.2 (1994) and the Tirol Concerto (2000) was an artistic triumph. The Boston Globe captured it in saying “the highlight of the evening, really — was that slow movement, anguish turning agitated and then noble, both pianist and orchestra playing as if it were Schubert, or late Beethoven.” The Boston Musical Intelligencer went on about movement II of the Tirol Concerto that it “is a strong reminder of the immense emotional capacity of Glass’s plaintive and lyrical passages.”
Being a Boston native, it was validating to hear this music in Boston, both in their Boston premieres. On the road again now, attention switches to Maki Namekawa’s sold out performance of The Complete Piano Etudes at National Sawdust with visuals by the esteemed Ars Electronica Festival. While Glass chose Namekawa to be the first to record his complete set of Etudes, Friday’s performance marks the first time Namekawa will perform the set in a single solo concert. This concert is just the beginning for Namekawa who will join her pianist husband, Dennis Russell Davies, well-known in this Glass world, for a concert at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. on Sunday in a program of some of my personal favorite composers: Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Schwertsik, and Glass.
Davies finished his tour with the Bruckner Orchester Linz last week with performances of the new Glass Symphony No.11 as well as the Three Ifè Songs with Angelique Kidjo and Violin Concerto No.1. This performance in Washington is an incredible opportunity for Glass fans to hear a concert of primary sources: two artists who have had an unparalleled access and collaborative musical relationship with Philip Glass and a chance to hear the Washington premiere of Four Movements for Two Pianos, a piece composed specifically for the Namekawa/Davies piano duo.