Glass: La belle et la bête

LABELS: Nonesuch
WORKS: La belle et la bête
PERFORMER: Philip Glass Ensemble/Michael Riesman
CATALOGUE NO: 7559-79347-2 DDD
Philip Glass helping himself to the pictures of Jean Cocteau’s masterpiece La belle et la bête to form a ‘ready-made’ opera might seem the height of cultural vandalism but, paradoxically, freed from Cocteau’s magnificent images, Glass’s work stands more of a chance even if the ‘synchronised’ French words are virtually inaudible. Indifferent vocally (with the exception of John Kuether) but instrumentally good. Naive but touching, with genuine ‘spook’ music in the whole-tone scales. A must for Glass fans. Annette Morreau