Glass; Reich

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Glass; Reich
LABELS: Orange Mountain Music
ALBUM TITLE: Glass; Reich
WORKS: Six scenes from ‘Les Enfants Terribles’
PERFORMER: Maki Namekawa, Dennis Russell Davies (piano)
The dance/opera work Les Enfants Terribles is already available on Orange Mountain in its original version for three pianos and voices. This is a deft two-piano arrangement by the performers of six non-vocal scenes which forms part of their repertoire as a piano duo, with the robustness of the original material making it highly amenable to such


a process. Glass’s piano music as such often fails to attract the attention it deserves, yet there’s a particular sense of musical satisfaction in the way his distinctive approach to rhythm and his later post-systemic style of composition are counterbalanced

by the highly intuitive nature of piano performance.


On previous occasions I’ve noted a reverberant, bell-like sonic tendency on other piano recordings on this label, and this tends to apply here, too. In the case of Six Scenes, however, this is less of a distraction and more of an advantage, allowing the sound of the two instruments to interpenetrate in a very pleasing way. This applies rather less to the classic Reich composition in which repeated phrases generate melodic material by moving in and out of phase with each other, where the drier and more precise recorded sound applied to the performance by Nurit Tilles and Edmund Niemann available on the Nonesuch Early Works CD serves the music rather better. A mixture, then, but still more worthwhile than not. Roger Thomas