A word to the wise, for those on fence about picking up the new Glass Symphony Boxed Set which is due out April 22 to coincide with the Bruckner Orchester Linz and Dennis Russell Davies performing the London Premiere of Symphony No.9, I would move quickly as this is a limited edition of only 2500 units and now four weeks away from the release, fewer than 800 copies remain in OMM’s warehouse and you should act quickly.
The 11-disc set is as much a celebration of a body of work than it is a commercial project. The body of work in question, these ten symphonies, has often been commented on by the composer as something like a surprising musical offshoot to his regular activity as a theater composer. “The Symphonies” has the definitive recordings of all extant Glass symphonies in their definitive interpretations by conductor Dennis Russell Davies who has commissioned 9 of the 10. What I mean by definitive is more authoritative than anyone else in the world is capable which is the direct result of over three decades of collaboration between the composer and conductor.
As a practical matter this claim also means more than a first glance when you consider a piece like Symphony No.7 “Toltec.” That piece is only symphony which wasn’t commissioned by Davies but 5 years after its world premiere under Leonard Slatkin, Davies presented the European premiere of the piece in Austria in a revised version. That revision was a major one and it gives a glimpse into the process that Glass has shared with Davies each time they bring a new piece to light.