Symphony No. 5
Requiem, Bardo and Nirmanakaya
Music by Philip Glass
S, Mz, T, Bar, B; SATB chorus; Children’s chorus; 2.pic.2.2.Ebcl.bcl.2/ 4.3.2.btbn.1/ 4 perc/ hp.pf/ str
Commissioned by Salzburg Festival, Austria
August 28, 1999 by Radio Symphonie Orchester Wien conducted by Dennis Russell Davies at Salzburg Festival, Austria
The symphony was commissioned and conceived as a millennium celebration work for the Salzburg Festival. My plan has been for the symphony to represent a broad spectrum of many of the world’s great “wisdom” traditions. Working together with the Very Reverend James Parks Morton of the Interfaith Center of New York and Professor Kusumita P. Pedersen of St. Francis College, we synthesized a vocal text that begins before the world’s creation, passes through earthly life and paradise, and closes with a future dedication.
We are looking at the moment of the millennium as a bridge between the past (represented by the “Requiem” and embodying the first nine movements up to the moment of Death) the present (the “Bardo” representing the “in between”) and culminating in “Nirmanakaya” (the future manifestation of enlightened activity).
We have elected to present the original texts (Greek, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and indigenous languages) in one language, English, to show the commonalities with which all these traditions resonate. For a work of this scale it seemed fitting to add chorus, children’s choir and soloists to the usual symphonic ensemble, thereby giving it ample breadth and dramatic capability.
Besides being a compendium of reflection on the process of global transformation and evolution, it is hoped that the work will serve as a strong and positive celebration of the millennium year.
— Philip Glass
Dunvagen Music Publishers