Music by Philip Glass
Arturo Stalteri, pianos


Materiali Sonori MASO CD 90104


1. Opening 6:22
2. Metamorphosis One 5:43
3. �toile Polaire (North Star) 4:51
4. Victor’s Lament 4:00
5. River Run 1:53
6. Ave 4:49
7. Mad Rush 15:49
8. Aria from Act III of Satyagraha 8:32
9. Closing (Stalteri Dramatic Version) 1:34


Music for piano solo, or the result of arrangements for more than one piano, or for piano and cello, with an interpretative richness and depth such as to place the “classic” composer Philip Glass in a position of absolute distinction. With its absence of refrains and points of melodic support, it has the flavour of an opera which, above and beyond the so-called minimalist movement, now belongs in the history of contemporary music.

Circles is the result of my involvement, during a period of over twenty-years, in the music of Philip Glass, first as a simple listener and observer, later also as an interpreter. In this recording I present a double-reading of a selection of Glass’ compositions, starting from what I would call the metropolitan period — radical and slightly schizoid (’70s and early ’80s) — up to the more meditative and intimate pieces of the last fifteen years. The inclusion of the North Star block should be interpreted in this sense. In 1978 I attended a concert in which Philip Glass and his ensemble performed several cuts from North Star, and I was particularly impressed by the great impact of this music, a sweeping and electric wall of sound. I attempted to recreate the same compactness through a very tight piano-transcription, encouraged by Glass himself to reelaborate a work that by now belongs to the history of the so-called minimalist movement.

As for the other pieces featured on this record, I have limited myself to interpreting Glass’ scores, though without denying myself the privilege of adding my own rhythmic and dynamic coloring to what are really only signs, which the performer has the right/obligation to bring back to life according to his own personality (to tell the truth in Closing I did more than this, radically modifying the left-hand part and tempo). In Metamorphosis One and Mad Rush, instead, I faithfully followed the composer’s piano score. Why Circles? Because, to me, Philip Glass’ music has no beginning and no end. The use of circular compositional patterns stands out as one of its main features. Yet it also possesses a natural and polished intensity, that often acquires a three-dimensional quality surrounding the listener and the performer with the balance inherent in the sphere, an enlightened peacebringer in our troubled times.

— Arturo Stalteri


All compositions by Philip Glass.
Performed and Produced by Arturo Stalteri.

Arturo Stalteri plays Yamaha pianos. “Étoile Polaire”, “Victor’s Lament”, “River Run” and “Ave”, originally included on the soundtrack of “North Star”, are here in Arturo Stalteri’s arrangement. “Ave” cello is played by Damiano Puliti.

Engineered by Pietro Mantovani. Digitally Editing by Lorenzo Tommasini & Giampiero Bigazzi. Art Direction by Ivan Iusco & Ernst Thornton. Texts translated by Melinda Mele.

Published by Dunvagen Music (1, 2, 7, 8, 9) and Virgin Music (3, 4, 5, 6). © 1998 Materiali Sonori, Italy.



Metamorphosis I – V
North Star
Mad Rush

Glassworks on Sony Masterworks
North Star on Virgin
Satyagraha on Sony Masterworks
Solo Piano on Sony Masterworks

North Star: Mark di Suvero by François de Menil
Satyagraha by Staatsoper Stuttgart (Dennis Russell Davies, Conductor)