Introducing a new weekly Monday Morning feature, the Pick of the Week will feature a track, movement, piece, or entire recording of something I think is remarkable for one reason or another. This week's pick is Life in the Mountains (a.k.a. M29), the de facto epilogue from Neil Burger's 2006 film The Illusionist.
The piece is in G minor. The frequency with which Glass has composed in this key in the last 10 years is staggering. However, this piece shows how refreshing and new something can be (I mean, it doesn't sound like The Hours, The Truman Show, The Violin Sonata). I just find it simple and beautiful. It presents a sense of relief as the two lovers are finally re-united after a narrow escape. The up-the-scale-down-the-scale melody in the violins starts as "E. steps on Grass"(according to the manuscript). The melody is doubled and the Glass arpeggios come in at "Sophie/Horse", then there's a D.C., but this time around the melody is highlighted by celeste and the more prominent baseline all crescendo into a reprise of the Main Title, the opening music of the film: the dark, brooding, and mysterious theme Glass wrote for the illusionist Eisenheim.
Listen to a sample of "Life in the Mountains" from The Illusionist