Glass: Violin Concerto No.2
|Listen Now with Amazon Music|
Glass: Violin Concerto No.2 "The American Four Seasons"
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
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.
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
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The concerto relies extensively on gradually changing melodic lines that have Vivaldi’s charged yet sleek intensity. The solo violin is closely integrated into the orchestra, as in the finale (Movement IV), maybe my favorite part of the piece. The violin works through sequences of arpeggios morphing into double and triple stops over throbbing string chords and a plucked harpsichord. The music is dramatic and momentum filled and works through different sections, some whisper soft and others more assertive. Interspersed in between the Movements, which are accompanied by the orchestra, are shorter and more reflective solo violin episodes, well played by McDuffie. The minute-long solo Prelude that opens the concerto plainly harkens back to Vivaldi’s art, with its quasi-baroque style, before transitioning into the turbulent Movement I, plaintive and dramatic.
As usual with Glass’ later music, I find myself liking it more than I think I should. This 2nd concerto is touching and often very beautiful. Energetic and emotionally gripping, it’s one of those pieces that I know I will be listening to often in the future. That said, I don’t find this particular recording completely satisfying. McDuffie is a very fine violinist with an affinity for Glass, so he is excellent. The conducting from Marin Alsop I find has the flaws that I’ve heard in her other Glass recordings – a lack of attention to fine detail, too little textural variation, coarseness. (How Alsop managed to get the strings from the London Philharmonic, a strong international orchestra, to play like a weak regional ensemble is a mystery to me.) I’ll be looking for a new recording of this 2nd concerto when it comes out, because it needs to be done again, maybe with McDuffie presenting it with another conductor. Sound engineering is good.
I really enjoyed this concerto despite my discontent with Alsop’s direction. Glass is an uneven composer but when he is inspired and has something to say, the results are always worth hearing.
If Berlioz and Beethoven were writing today for Paganini, parts of this Glass concerto would be the result.