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Glassworld: 2013 Recap

After the festivities around Glass' 75th birthday year, one would think the next year would be a bit quieter.

2013 was a very interesting year.  I don't recall another year where Glass premiered two major operas in one season.  Granted, The Perfect American (Jan.2013) and The Lost (April 2013) were composed long before 2013 (in fact The Lost which was to premiere first in Sept.2013 was composed before The Perfect American but premiered after.  (This was due to the delay in constructing the new Linz opera house). 

Also born in 2013 was Glass' sequel to Four Movements for Two Pianos, his new work Two Movements for Four Pianos for the Labeques, Davies and Namekawa was premiered in June at Ruhr Piano Festival.  The other major premiere was Glass' String Quartet No.6 premiered in October by long-time collaborators the Kronos Quartet.  There was a 7 minute solo cello piece called Orbit which was written for and premiered by Yo-Yo Ma.  And lest we forget VISITORS, an 87 minute score for orchestra which was premiered in September with the Toronto Symphony, performed live to Godfrey Reggio's new film, a once in a decade occurence between Glass and Reggio.  A premiere of sorts was the February 16th performance of the Complete Piano Etudes by Glass, Sally Whitwell, and Maki Namekawa. That was followed by performances of the complete piano set in London, Mexico, and elsewhere.  The majority of the pieces were composed in the mid-1990s but Glass composed the final four ├ętudes in the fall of 2012.

On the performance front, "not too shabby" would be an understated assessment of 2013.  Sixteen Glass operas had productions. His own Symphony No.10 received its UK Premiere at the BBC Proms and at the Cabrillo Festival during the summer. Hundreds of performances of Glass' works took place year round.  This is not a new thing but the volume of performances is really astounding.  It speaks to a well rounded catalogue and the diversity of the composer's compositional interests, "there's something for everyone." 

The anchor to all of it is performances by Glass himself.  On the verge of 77 years of age, miraculously Glass performs more than ever.  While for the first time not actively performing in the current tour of Einstein in the Beach, Glass maintains his schedule as a pianist – touring worldwide in 2013 including an extensive tour in South America, Finland, Italy, USA, France, and Australia.  It continues with visits soon to Iceland, Sweden, and back to Australia in the name of the Complete Piano Etudes.

On the recording from, OMM released:  iTunes Essentials (Symph. No.8; Duos; Harpsichord Cto),  Symphony No.3/The Hours with Anne Manson and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Cello Concerto No.2 "Naqoyqatsi" with Matt Haimovitz, Davies, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,Glass' jam session with indigenous Mexicans called "Concert of the Sixth Sun"; the new score to the Reggio film Visitors; the Glass arrangements to the early 1980s surf-rock band The Raybeats – The Lost Philip Glass Sessions; and the premiere recording of Glass' opera Galileo Galilei

The majority of the Nonesuch catalogue reverted to Orange Mountain Music in 2013 including titles: Symphony No.2; Symphony No.3; Symphony No.5; Einstein on the Beach; Music in 12 Parts; Music with Changing Parts; Two Pages, Music in Similar Motion; Dracula (with Kronos Quartet); The Civil warS; La Belle et la Bete and Anima Mundi



3 thoughts on “Glassworld: 2013 Recap”

  1. It’s been a very busy year for Philip, and a good 75th birthday celebration!
    I noticed that Orange Mountain Music now own the Nonesuch recordings of Einstein and Music In 12 Parts.
    I’m looking forward to 2014!

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