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Music With Changing Parts

P. Glass Audio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, 1994 --  
Audio Cassette, 1994 --  

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Music With Changing Parts + Glass: Music in Twelve Parts
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 1, 1994)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000005J2A
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,299 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Music With Changing Parts - P. Glass

Editorial Reviews

Philip Glass's early works have purely functional titles, and this one is no exception. His masterpiece in this repetitious and rigorously structural composition style-- Music in Twelve Parts--may be just too much for some people to take. If so, then this disc may be just the ticket. Of course, Glass's many fans will snap it up as a matter of course, but as the title implies, there's somewhat more happening here than in his very first minimalist works--just enough so that newcomers to the style ought to find something to enjoy. An important disc, then, both as a milestone in the history of a major musical movement and a reminder of style that the composer has long since abandoned. --David Hurwitz

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highway June 22, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Almost a 'single' of 'Music in 12 Parts', this is easier to listen to in one sitting. It's still not headphone listening though - think of it as an audio backdrop and it works, almost, as if one was staring at an abstract painting. As Glass' career progressed he reduced the purely cyclic / generative elements of his works to humanistic levels - 'Einstein on the Beach' and 'Dance 1-5' were the last things he did that could be recognisable as descendents of this new music. The fact that it comes from 1971 is striking - it still sounds modern, and it's fascinating to compare it with the contemporary works of his semi-rival, Steve Reich - whilst Reich used percussive, almost jazzy rhythms, Glass' music is a steadily-flowing concrete road changing in texture but never, ever losing its cool.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Those familiar with the original vinyl recording of this in a very limited release from Chatham Records will definitely notice some differences in the CD remix. To my mind, the backing wind and voice parts are now overbalanced and stick out too much in front, contrary to the idea of the piece, which was that these parts were to be like overtones arising out of the churning electric organ riffs. Also the digital remastering tends to make more apparent the occasional raggedness in the performance, something that is understandable given the feat of endurance this piece probably was (most likely this was an hours-long performance whittled down to fit on 4 sides of vinyl). Still, it is great to have this in an unbroken span and not have to get up & flip the record over every 15 mins. This is Glass when he was at his best, before he became a hack; a pure driving cosmic sound that he later would disavow as 'too spacey' for his tastes.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome but slightly problematic reissue December 19, 1998
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
For those unfamiliar with Philip Glass, his music relies on repetition and gradual transformation, and thus falls loosely into the category of New Age. His arrangements in his earlier works feature electric organ with various winds and voices to add color. Although his recent recordings feature shorter pieces, his earlier works ran from twenty minutes to, in this case, over an hour. This is probably one of Glass's most significant works from the time before he "went commercial." This reissue of the 1971 recording is most welcome, since the original LP is almost impossible to find and is marred by the intrusion of side breaks. Furthermore, since this is the original performance, its significance is historical as well as musical. The only reason I don't give it five stars is that there seem to be several glitches in the recording, which are unfortunately magnified by the perfect reproduction of the CD. This makes me wonder whether a completely new performance and recording might have been preferable. But you can definitely make a case both ways.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Endlessly fascinating and hypnotic.... March 30, 2008
Format:Audio CD
This is a great example of Glass's early work, and it's really quite extraordinary. It is one piece, a 61 minute and 38 second composition that is endlessly fascinating. The intensity of the composition and the performance is amazing. It is also important to note that this is the original recording remastered. Glass has re-recorded many of his earlier works (like Music in Twelve Parts and Einstein on the Beach), but this is the recording from 1973. The recording benefits greatly from the CD formate. It needs to be listened to in its entirety. It was originally released in a 2LP set, which disrupted the performance when one had to put on the seperate sides. Here the CD is crystal clear and you can enjoy the song the way it was meant to be. The CD also has some absolutely fascinating liner notes about the origins of the piece, how often it was performed, some pictures of Glass and his ensemble playing the piece in 1970's NYC, and Glass's take on the song now. Of course, many people dislike Philip Glass (why I don't know), and those who dislike him save their venom for his early work especially, which is much more minimalist and avant garde than the later works. This is one of the finest examples of his early work, which I adore.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The SOUL of Minimalism March 3, 2000
By Eva
Format:Audio CD
Who in their right mind can say that you can hear to a single piece of music, no interruptions, for more than sixty minutes and still feel refreshed, renewed and intrigued when it ends? Anyone who listens to this piece and finds the subtle changes and delicate note composition will certainly want to hear Glass over and over again. This piece will leave you asking for more after 60 minutes of great music.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hypnotic May 17, 2002
Format:Audio CD
This is my favorite of all of Glass's works I've heard. It repeats, but it changes in bits through a process. The rhythm oif this music produces very interesting effects. I can listen to it as a direct extension of my heartbeat in the background, not even music, but sound that keeps itself viscous & makes itself understood. I can stare at it entranced by it for the whole hour it lasts for hardly aware that any real time is passing. When someone else walks into the room while this cd is playing, it doesn't usually occur to them that a cd is playing, but that life just got so much more exciting once they came into the room where I was. & since the music does change in increments over time, it isn't difficult to commit to like the alarum Einstein. Glass says that he doesn't like it much now because it's "too spacey" for his tastes. It's spacey. It's stellar. Thanks, Philip.
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