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Low Symphony From The Music Of David Bowie & Brian Eno

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 16, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

great music

Amazon.com

Glass finds inspiration for his music in the strangest places. Here, he has taken his themes for the Low Symphony from the music of David Bowie and Brian Eno, specifically from their album entitled Low. You needn't be familiar with (or like) the work of Bowie or Eno to appreciate this piece, which is in three movements: Subterrraneans, Some Are, and Warszawa. Glass doesn't quote the borrowed themes directly, but lets them generate their own variations- -which he's very good at. This is an unexpected success and a grand delight. --Paul Cook

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Low Symphony: I Subterraneans - Philip Glass
  2. Low Symphony: II Some are - Philip Glass
  3. Low Symphony: III Warszawa - Philip Glass


Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 16, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B0000040US
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,162 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tim Brough VINE VOICE on July 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the very rare adaptations of rock themes to not be an embarrassment to its source or to its appropriator. I say this as someone who frequently finds himself choking on symphonic "tributes" and the like that have cluttered record bins. You know the sort of CD I am talking about. Symphonic tributes to Pink Floyd, Queen, Alan Parsons, The Moody Blues...all sounding saccharine and cloying, all disposable after about two days.

Not so with Philip Glass and "The Low Symphony." While Glass took a few of the main themes from Bowie/Eno's album and then building them with themes of his own, Glass structured the three movements of his first-ever symphony with hypnotic grace. You'll recognize the subtle points of Bowie's work (especially in "Warszawa"), but you'll also find yourself being mesmerized by the way Glass captured them in his own inimitable fashion.

Back in 1993, while I was writing for a broadcasting trade paper, I rated "The Low Symphony" as one of my Top Ten Records of that year. It sat in the list alongside of Sting's "Ten Summoner's Tales," Elvis Costello's "The Juliet Letters," John Hiatt's "Perfectly Good Guitar" and "Spilt Milk" by Jellyfish. I still find myself reaching for this CD in the moments when I need calm. It remains that influential for me.
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Format: Audio CD
As an avid Brian Eno and David Bowie Fan, and being only marginally aware of Philip Glass as a contemporary composer, I was surprised by this recording. I expected the basic melodies to be either missing, obscured, or altered beyond recognition. I was wrong. The originals are easily recognizable in Glass' composition. In fact, while it was lovely to hear full orchestral arrangements of the compelling Eno/Bowie melodies, by the end of the Symphony, I found that I wanted Glass to take more liberties. Regardless, this is a fine recording.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Low Symphony is based on music originally composed by David Bowie and Brian Eno on their 1970s album Low. Glass works his magic with the Bowie/Eno themes. If you like Glass and haven't heard this, you won't be disappointed.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an impressive interpretation of David Bowie and Brian Eno's Low from 1977 (Check out the original album too--way ahead of it's time) Great listen for long drives and this recording holds up well and it quite enjoyable even if you do not have or haven't heard the original album
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Format: Audio CD
I have to say from the beginning that this is probably the best symphonic adaptation of some rock music. The secret is, I would say, in the development of the original music. Glass takes the themes of the instumental pieces form Bowie's 'Low' album and develops themes in three full symphonic pieces, not in the usual way, by simply arranging them for orchestra but also by adding more themes and musical ideas, basically rewriting them. The music is a little bit unusual for Glass, more developed, also the listening is not very demanding. The second piece seems to a better rhythm and I think is the best of the three. However, all three of them stand together and create a unified, nice piece of work.
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Format: MP3 Music
Although Bowie and Eno form the 'start point' for this album, Glass (as he explains in his notes) uses this as a point from which to develop ideas of his own, which gradually cohere into a complete symphonic movement. Although there are clear echoes of Bowie/Eno, this is very much a classical piece, with Glass' trademark pulsing, driving rhythmns, and slow, rolling melodies. Rich, relaxing stuff, well performed and recorded. Just not exceptional enough to deserve the full five stars. Well worth acquiring if you enjoy Glass.
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Format: Audio CD
Glass once said that Schubert is his favorite composer.
Franz's idiosyncratic grace is evident in this work.
At first hearing, I felt it to be so personal that I hesitated recommending it to others.
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