Last night was quite interesting. A few thousand people turned out to hear the Philip Glass Ensemble play a set of old and not so old works. It was as pleasant as can be save for the 90+ degree heat and humidity. For the first part of the night I was about 20 feet behind the stage as every good seat on the lawn was taken. This afforded me the opportunity to chat with the park security about how incredible horrible the show was.
I have to say it was refreshing to hear from the uninitiated, those who have never been exposed to Philip Glass' music. This guy REALLY didn't like what he was hearing. He repeated oft heard commentaries like "it sounds like a broken record," "I don't get it, he's just playing the same thing over and over," and my favorite, when I asked him what he thought the music was while the ensemble was performing some of Music in 12 Parts "The only thing I think this would fit is something like Jaws."
The ensemble was in good form, fighting the heat but ran into a couple techincal difficulties causing short delays. If people hadn't ben chilled out on the lawn that might have been an annoyance. The Ensemble played an interesting set including music from The Civil Wars No.2 (Koln), Similar Motion, The Truman Show, Music in 12 Parts, Kundun, The Photographer and the encore Spaceship from Einstein on the Beach as a teaser to those who will go see the complete piece in Brooklyn in the fall.
So for those coming to the NPR Philip Glass birthday sing-along – you can download the score from the NPR Deceptive Cadence website, and you can reserve tickets as well. It's taking place near the TKTS booth at the north end of Times Square at 6:30pm.