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Symphony No. 6 (Devil Choirs at the Gates of Heaven)

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Symphony No. 6 (Devil Choirs at the Gates of Heaven) by Glenn Branca

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 21, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atavistic
  • Run Time: 48 minutes
  • ASIN: B006BGGYFW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 9, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Just give it a listen. Approach Branca's work with an open mind, a large room and turn the volume up as high as the speakers (and neighbors) will bear. This is a terrific piece which carries the listener through Branca's world of near cinematic noise to brilliant plateaus of rich sonic texture. Not easy to describe, more something to experience. Enjoy.
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Format: Audio CD
Having listened to almost all of the Branca symphonies as well as the "lessons", this is the one I keep returning to. The Lessons are interesting as germinal ideas, but this is the fulfillment. The opening sequence has the herky-jerky rhythms that can only be achieved by multiple electric guitars striking chords on different offbeats. The sheer complexity of the rhythm and harmonic structure occuring in the first movement kept me listening to it over and over before moving on to the rest of the CD. It is best listened to LOUD. This music has power and force. You have to suspend a desire to hear a straight up melody, but that does not mean this is uninteresting or "minimal" music. As you listen it is as if the layers of your first perception are being stripped away and you are then able to hear into the music. On each listen, I hear some new thing I did not perceive before. This is angular and aggressive. If you want to hear more stunningly beautiful works, go for Symphony 3 or even 2 (although 2 has a lot of loud percussion against the clouds of sound). Why Glenn Branca has not been included in the canon of modern compositional giants alongside Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and John Zorn, I do not know. Probably because he is so intense and unpolite. But, this is intelligent music that demands a listen. Also, check out Jonathan Kane's "February" if you like this. Try to find some Rhys Chatham, too. Although it is difficult.

Recording quality on this could have been better. Sadly, most of Branca's works are only available as recordings of live events with the inherent limitations. As it states in the liner notes, there was also a lack of understanding on the part of the sound engineers as to what Branca's music was trying to do sonically.
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Format: Audio CD
imagine if Post Punk had a baby with Stoner Metal, and genetically engineered to grow to insanely huge proportions. and then it switched identity with you so you were the giant baby. that's what this feels like.
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the trouble with this music is that, what space, (conceptual creative) does it inhabit? its hard for post-modernity ruined space for us,space for cultural products reinvents itself so fast now, that we are forgotten before we are remembered;the music of the "scene", what Kronos plays,or "Bang on a Can" it is more about where we are in culture,time does that, you can read Fred Jameson;we are in a after-modernity so Branca is more about place than listening, we want to compare it, where did it come from? listening is not about the here and now,turn it on and then what?the length is impressive, to sustain interest for this time is incredible,and he doesn't, who else does it, Morty Feldman tried without a Cash Box in mind,he never got dupped by Andy Warhol, where the market was everything;he didn't care what sold, but we cannot say that for the likes of Phil Glass or John Zorn,Mr.Turnage,or Michael Torke, all those who depend heavily on the popular gesture,just read WIRE magazine; the cultural buzz of the here n'now, the full(or half)-tilt magnetisms to the Cash Box, whatever you want to call it,and tis a shame because Branca is one of the better ones, a good/better creators, (we do not say "composer" anymore I don't think), Branca is better for his committment to the genre at least of the "symphony", he arduously works at what he does, thinks about it; where others simply try whatever works,"copy-cat" art is important for the current scene that's the market at work;whatever creates the "buzz" that some opera corporate board or orchestral association can raise money for, we need to be deep capitalist pragmatists; well it had worked going back to Adam Smith;so why not now?Read more ›
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