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Philip Glass : Music From "The Hours" Solo Piano Import, Soundtrack

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Soundtrack, July 20, 2004
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$16.42 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

In 2002 Philip Glass composed the soundtrack score to the Stephen Daldry film "The Hours". The film went on to receive 9 Acadamy Awards nominations, including one for ‘best score’.

At the beginning of the film, Daldry depicts the timelessness of small daily events, how the real elements of life are patterns that repeat across time. The movie opens with three women from three different eras intercut, all doing similar things. There's Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) in 1923, a troubled young mother (Julianne Moore) in 1951 and a woman (Meryl Streep) in 2001 making preparations for a party later that evening. In one location flowers are bought, in another displayed, in another discarded. Philip Glass' score intensely underlines the images with a sense of strangeness and sympathy.

Michael Riesman, Mr. Glass’ longtime musical director and producer of the film score recordings, created solo piano adaptations of the original score and has been performing them in concert.

Orange Mountain Music is very happy to release a CD of studio recordings of this beautiful and emotional work performed by the brilliant pianist and intimate interperter of Philip Glass’ work, Michael Riesman.

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Product Details

  • Performer: Michael Riesman
  • Orchestra: Solo Piano
  • Composer: Philip Glass
  • Audio CD (July 20, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Soundtrack
  • Label: Orange Mountain Music
  • ASIN: B00025K198
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,687 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roland on February 2, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This recording captures the essence of Glass minimal composition, and has the same feeling and emotion that his other solo piano recordings contain.
In fact, this is one of the best solo piano recordings in my opinion, since their is much more variety here than compared to the album "Solo Piano," and there is more emotion on this compare to Etudes Vol. 1. This is also a good recording since there are only two songs that are borrowed from other recordings, namely Facades from Glassworks, and Metamorphosis #3 from Solo Piano. Facades is a beautiful song on solo piano, and actually sounds better on this without the flute in my opinion. Arguably the best solo piano Glass recording to date. the second best I would say is the Orphee Suite for solo piano, then 3rd is Etudes, then 4th is Solo
Piano.
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When I first heard the original soundtrack to The Hours, I was struck by how familiar a lot of the sections sounded - not all of this music is new. However, a second listening made me feel that even if not all the music was originally composed for the soundtrack, it was nevertheless a truly fitting series of pieces that had a coherence and empathy with the themes of the film. Subsequent listenings have made this one of my favourite 21st century Glass recordings. I highly recommend it.

I don't feel that this recording offers any new insight to the music originally offered for the soundtrack, other than perhaps providing the hope of a piano transcription, and thus something that I, as an amateur pianist, can aspire to being able to play.

Mr Riesman is a fine pianist and his long standing relationship with Mr Glass is obvious in his treatment of the music. I am extremely impressed with his performance of the Tirol concerto CD which I received at the same time as this recording. However, the subtraction of an orchestra from what I also consider a piano concerto format can only put more pressure on the soloist, and results in something I feel lacks in emotion by trying to be too many instruments and textures at once.

Conclusion: Not essential listening. The original soundtrack recording is more emotionally resonant.
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Returning to view the masterfully created cinematic production of Michael Cunningham's THE HOURS always leaves the reminder that much of the atmosphere that made the film work so well on every level was the musical score composed by Philip Glass. The soundtrack recording from the film remains for this listener a constant companion and now there is yet another extension of the eloquence of Glass' achievement.

Glass' longtime musical colleague is Michael Riesman, a gifted pianist as well as a composer who had the fine thought of distilling Glass' already minimalist score for piano solo. And in this recording Riesman performs his composer-sanctioned transcriptions with not only impeccable musical skill but also with the knowledge of both the Cunningham novel and the Virginia Woolf novel 'Mrs. Dalloway' on which it was based. The result is far more richly varied series of vignettes than most would have thought possible.

For those who are devotees of Philip Glass' compositions, from the very large symphonies and operas to the chamber ensemble and solo instrumental works, this series of piano transcriptions will prove rewarding. Reisman makes Glass' ideas crystalline, allowing us to hear the very subtle differences in the music he created for each character and each emotion.

For those less familiar with Philip Glass' music but very familiar with the film 'The Hours', this recording will provide an hour of nostalgia and clean swept elegance that can be heard at any moment (any hour!) of the day. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, March 07
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"The Hours," aside from being a superb film, has the added bonus of being home to an amazing score by Philip Glass. The soundtrack to the movie was astounding with it's lovely, entrancing pieces. Now Michael Riesmen, who also did the piano sections for the original soundtrack, has released his own version of "The Hours" soundtrack, completely adapted to piano. All the other instruments, strings and the like, have been replaced by Riesman's piano--and the pieces remain just as amazing as they were on the original soundtrack. No drops in quality have occurred to any of the songs in regard to being adapted exclusively for piano. Riesman does a perfect job directly translating the original soundtrack all in piano. In fact, with the pieces now emanating from one instrument alone--and one so powerful as the piano--the pieces are now singularly profound in their composition. The piano alone, through Riesman's playing, does well to pull out the melody and texture of the pieces.

For anyone who is a fan of the original soundtrack, Riesman's piano rendition is essential.
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I loved this soundtrack when I first heard it on the film and to hear it with solo piano--in it's most basic true form--is so fantastic. It has even more emotion simplified.
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Philip Glass' music is often a love/hate sort of thing...you love it or you hate it. I happen to be in the "Love" camp. Other critics have suggested that this is pure nonsense music and has no true meaning as classical music, even contemporary classical. I would rather suggest that I find it more useful to think of his music as "Useful". I use it to relax; to not have to knot my brow thinking of the meaning; I use it to fall asleep; I use it to read to; I wouldn't mind using it as music to make love with (too old), etc. Maybe I'm defining "elevator music", but that is merely tedious BS, and this I find very attractive. Did not see the movie The Hours, but truly love the music Glass wrote for it. I find it quite emotional, often very sad, often wistful, and always very attractive. The playing by Michael Riesman is excellent, but lags just behind (IMHO) the playing of Jeroen van Veen (Brilliant 3CD 9419) on his disc 2, containing 11 of the 14 pieces from The Hours. Also, I believe that the playing of Valentina Lisitsa (Decca 478 8079) is just a smudge more engaging than Riesman, but she gives us only 9 of the 14 pieces. The differences are relatively minor, but my ear goes for van Veen first, Lisitsa second and Riesman third, but a close match. Great music which I find very attractive.
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Philip Glass : Music From "The Hours" Solo Piano
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