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Glass: Tara Hugo Sings Philip Glass

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 11, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Singer and actress Tara Hugo reimagines and reinterprets the Philip Glass songbook on Orange Mountain's recording Tara Hugo Sings Philip Glass. Glass is mostly known for his large-scale operas and symphonies. However, his long-time producer Kurt Munkacsi had harbored a desire to hear the Glass songs in the context of a collection interpreted by singer who concentrates on communicating lyrics through her singing. This set of songs also presents pieces that the composer wrote at different times of his career for different projects with different collaborators including Natalie Merchant, Allen Ginsberg, Leonard Cohen and Mick Jagger. It also includes beautiful melodies written by Glass, arranged for small ensemble by Trevor Gureckis and set to lyrics written by Hugo.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Always Neverwas
  2. Let the Letter Read You
  3. How Much I Love You
  4. The New Rule
  5. Spinning
  6. Feeding Frenzy
  7. Streets of Berlin
  8. A Sip of Wine
  9. Cabin in the Rockies
  10. Kabul
  11. Planctus
  12. The Night of Santiago


Product Details

  • Performer: Tara Hugo
  • Orchestra: Various
  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Philip Glass
  • Audio CD (December 11, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ORANGE MOUNTAIN
  • ASIN: B009NJZL1M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,163 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Isaac on January 10, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a great album. Hard to classify the genre which makes it all the more wonderful. Uniquely beautiful music, best of Glass -- sung by Tara Hugo, whose strong voice is soulful and pure. Each song is compelling to listen to, again and again. It's not cabaret, classical or any other genre-- it's of itself. Hugo's lyrics are fantastic!
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Amazingly good! Be sure to read the detailed review by Steven Ritter on Audiophile Audition's website. I was especially surprised by "Feeding Frenzy" whose music is from "Primacy of Number" on the Naqoyqatsi soundtrack- never would have imagined words added to that piece! A lot of time and effort was put into this project, and it shows!
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Philip Glass is widely recognized as one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century. In this unique album, his music has been turned into a collection of songs, performed by one of the best cabaret singers around, Tara Hugo. Ms. Hugo, an American who lives in London and New York, not only sings the hell out of this material but is also responsible for many of the lyrics, more than holding her own with fellow lyricists, Leonard Cohen and Rumi. Provocative and deeply moving.
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Because Philip Glass is chiefly a theatrical composer, the songs that appear in his productions are submerged in his rhythms, thick orchestration, and visual happenings. This excellent album brings the songs from various scores, reduces the instrumentation, and unifies them by the sensitive, emotional singing of Tara Hugo. Glass has used poetry as lyrics, such as that of Sufi Jalauddin Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks), which appeared in Monsters of Grace, of Leonard Cohen, from Book of Longing, and Allen Ginsberg, from Hydrogen Jukebox. Other lyrics on the album are from Martin Sherman (from the film BENT), Natalie Merchant, and the pen of Hugo herself. Now, the lyrics take center stage and the effect is stunning. The yearning, the melancholy are felt strongly. The lyrics are sharp and clear. Oddly, the rhythmic elements of Glass (influenced by Hindustani's tals of two, three, and four units within raga systems ranging from 5 to 16 beats per cycle) are also manifested; Trevor Gureckis should be acknowledged for the simplified and dramatic arrangements. This album will be appreciated not only by fans of operatic Glass but those who find pleasure in Broadway musicals, as Tara Hugo is also an actress, appearing in movies, television series, and stage productions.
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It has been years since I listened to something that excited me so! The fact that Ms. Hugo is also a more-than-competent lyricist makes this a fascinating blend of exquisite power.

Tara is to be congratulated on barging to bear some of her myriad of gifts; her marvelous vocal style, the ability to interpret and incorporate the composer's intent and to blend these amazing assets into an incredible potpourri of sound.
Speaking as a Music Therapist, she has blown me away!

Brava, Tara!
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By JLG on December 12, 2012
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Have always loved Philip Glass' music, and Tera Hugo's cd is wonderful. The phrasing, the power of her voice, and the pacing make it a great listen. I've ordered several for Christmas gifts.
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