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Glass: Violin Concerto No.2 - The American Four Seasons [Import]

Philip Glass , Marin Alsop , London Philharmonic Orchestra , Robert McDuffie Audio CD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Price: $16.86 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Prologue 1:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Movement I 6:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Song No.1 4:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Movement II10:29Album Only
listen  5. Song No.2 1:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Movement III 5:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Song No.3 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Movement IV 7:00$0.99  Buy MP3 


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Product Details

  • Performer: Robert McDuffie
  • Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Marin Alsop
  • Composer: Philip Glass
  • Audio CD (October 12, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Orange Mountain Music
  • ASIN: B00415AWXU
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,506 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Orange Mountain Music presents Philip Glass second violin concerto, subtitled The American Four Seasons, performed by violinist Robert McDuffie accompanied by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Marin Alsop. This live performance was captured on the occasion of the UK premiere of the work in the spring of 2010. The concerto is in four movements, with each movement preceded by a piece for solo violin comprised of a prologue and three songs. The strings-only orchestra is complemented by a synthesizer producing a sound palette that harkens back to the Philip Glass of the 1970s. The American Four Seasons was commissioned by McDuffie to act as a companion piece to Vivaldi s Four Seasons concertos, which are among the most performed and recorded works in the history of music.

Review

As for the solo performance by Robert McDuffie, it was beyond praise, as cool, poised and heroically strong as a piece of Greek statuary. --London Telegraph

The first performance of the work Violin Concerto No. 2, - The American Four Seasons; was so spectacularly played by the new piece's muse, American violinist Robert McDuffie, at Roy Thomson Hall Wednesday night, that the event turned into one of the most exciting musical evenings of the year. --Toronto Star

...this is the achievement of a mature composer, who has judiciously drawn on his standard musical vocabulary, and, at the same time, transcended it, creating a work of broader compositional and emotional complexity. At the hub of the concerto was violinist Robert McDuffie, who persuaded Glass to compose it and is clearly committed to the result. He performed with extraordinary ease and elan and inspired fervid, polished playing. Read more: Philip Glass modernizes Vivaldi classic - The Denver Post --The Denver Post

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
(18)
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark achievement in the concerto repertoire October 14, 2010
Format:Audio CD
When people, especially in North America, get over the hangup that Glass is not supposed to be considered a serious classical music composer, despite numerous operas, symphonies, concerti and ballets, and despite their enduring popularity in Europe, or that he is a nails-on-the-blackboard minimalist, despite some of the most transporting melodies written in the last century, they will recognize that his music, and especially his recent direction, constitutes a landmark in 20-21st century "serious" music.

This violin concerto is a good example. It his his second violin concerto, the first having achieved repetition in a variety of media (check youtube for this) for its transcendent second movement. The American 4 seasons, his second violin concerto represents a more mature Glass style, of far greater complexity and with memorable qualities throughout, from first to last note. Due it its complexity, it may not be completely accessible on first hearing, but repeated listening brings great rewards in enjoyment.

A review of the Glass concerto output (violin, cello, concerto grosso, piano, saxophone quartet, etc.) reveals that his second movements are outstanding for their melodic lyricism and this concerto's second movement even exceeds the others in that regard. Glass's most recent concerti have tended to opt for a slow final movement, choosing tranquility over fireworks, as is especially true in the second piano concerto ("Lewis and Clark"). But Robert McDuffie, for whom this second concerto was written, wanted the fireworks. Glass delivered these fireworks in the fourth movement, and then some. For me this is far and away the best final concerto movement that Glass has written.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking! November 2, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The American Four Seasons piece is absolutely amazing - beautiful - and this particular rendition by Glass is just breathtaking. The flexibility, the speed, and crispness of notes/tones are wonderful. The only thing that would make it better is hearing it live.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Father's Glass November 17, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
While soon recognizable as a compostion of Philip Glass, this excellent, beautiful second violin concerto is of great structural variation, with solo lyrical interludes suitable for encores and four main movements, whose season attribution is unspecified, not necesssarily chronological, and somewhat ambiguous (perhaps a sequence of summer, autumn, winter, spring, but your choices may differ). Robert McDuffie plays with ardor and sensitivity. The London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop (of Cabrillo Festival fame) stands suitably back for the violin to shine. Glass's arpeggio trademark pulses are present, of course, but they serve as emotional clues to the violin's rapturous melodies. This is a very mature work, a far cry from Glass's early minimalism. I like this opus very much and presume that the concerto will prove to be a popular feature of concerts worldwide.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant, unchallenging dose of Minimalism 101 February 17, 2011
Format:Audio CD
As one of the inventors of minimalism, Philip Glass should have matured along the lines of Steve Reich, John Adams, and John Harbison, but he has spent too many years turning out the same formula, and despite some resounding cheers for An American Four Seasons at Amazon (one of Glass's knacks is for marketable titles), I can't hear the slightest distinction in the music, other than the simple melodic layering upon basic chord progressions and arpeggios that amountto Minimalism 101. Newcomers should be advised that unlike Vivaldi's panorama of the year, Glass's concerto doesn't depict the four seasons pictorially -- the movements are abstract and fairly interchangeable.

Which isn't to deny that this is a pleasant experience. The opening movement and the slow movement are ear-catching. I got very little out of the other two movements, however, and the interpolated "songs" for solo violin aren't even melodic; they repeat some basic rhythmic figurations and intervals without any accumulation of effect. There was something more daring about the first violin concerto, or at least more varied, since the soloist was backed by a full orchestra, not just the string body plus synthesizer employed here. To is credit, Robert McDuffie doesn't play the solo part mechanically but inserts subtle expressive touches that help to add interest. If only the basic material had more interest on its own.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
I was fortunate to hear Robert McDuffie play this violin concerto live with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra last month and it was brilliant and he was brilliant. I went home and ordered the disc from Amazon immediately, wanting to hear it again. But listening to it for the first time I was struck by the decision the recording producers made to over emphasize the violin playing and de-emphasize the orchestra, who play so much in the background as to be more like a chamber ensemble back up. I found this to be strange as I own many famous violin concerto's and on all of them the orchestra is an integral as the violin soloist, as I believe it should be. I look forward to McDuffie recording this with another orchestra at some point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Performance disappointment... May 13, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I've listen this Glass work this February in Vilnius performed by Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica and I've been extremely exited about it. I've decided to get it immediately. The only one available performance was this - by McDuffie and LPO. And what a disappointment! - absolutely another type of music... without energy and passion, just performance, nothing else. Waste of money...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not one of his greatest works.
Published 2 months ago by Peter from Adelaide
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice
Good listening, enjoy Philip Glass's music and have attended a few concerts featuring his music. Good solid classic and well performed.
Published 6 months ago by Sylvia Koski
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Glass.
Heard one movement of the Glass concerto on the radio, and thought that it was a marvelous piece, something modern, exciting, clever, involving; and every other movement is. Read more
Published on January 25, 2012 by J. Timothy Kern
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful piece with underwhelming solo performance
This is a beautiful piece. The passages are colorful, rhythmic, and expressed in typical Glass minimalistic fashion. Read more
Published on January 13, 2012 by Edward Park
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and haunting
I had the good fortune to hear a live performance of "the American Four Seasons" (along with Vivaldi's Four Seasons) with Robert McDuffie and the San Diego Symphony. Read more
Published on January 8, 2012 by Robert S. Sablove
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have.
I heard this Concerto on NPR and I couldn't believe what I was listening !! I was so in awe that, I stopped the car in a parking lot just so i could finish listening to it.. Read more
Published on October 17, 2011 by Stephen Arthur
1.0 out of 5 stars Glass: Violin Concerto No. 2
The Violin Concerto was performed badly, with sounds coming from the violin
that a beginner would make. Read more
Published on September 20, 2011 by FAL
5.0 out of 5 stars Dynamic
This is such a wonderful and inspiring CD. Really over the top in terms of classical meets modern music. I listen to it while working on my own artwork and it puts me in the zone.
Published on September 15, 2011 by rugby08
1.0 out of 5 stars What movie was this the score for?
I very readily believe that Philip Glass is modern music for people who can't handle modern music (Which is sad because Modern music is not all Clanks, Screeches, and Yells- Listen... Read more
Published on May 27, 2011 by Tbsturm
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Mr McDuffie has been touring all over the world with this commissioned piece. I was fortunate enough to see it performed as the second half of a performance with Vivaldi's Four... Read more
Published on April 30, 2011 by PhotoTechBear
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