Minimal: Glass at 75 - Programme highlights
- Neil Cooper
- 19 October 2011
Glasgow festival features, Scottish Ensemble, Bang On A Can and composer himself
How fragile is Glass? And how shattering? Audiences have had plenty of time of late to ponder the cause and effect of veteran New York composer Philip Glass’ considerable body of work. Glass himself appeared with his Ensemble to perform the dizzying soundtracks to Godfrey Reggio’s Qatsi trilogy of films as part of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival. Hot on its heels came a performance of 1000 Airplanes On The Roof, the Glass-scored ‘science-fiction opera’, featuring the Red Note Ensemble playing beneath a Concorde in a hangar at the National Museum of Flight.
The latter performance is repeated, sans Concorde, as part of the self-explanatory Minimal festival, which this year celebrates Glass’ 75th birthday with a weekend programme split between Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Tramway. As well as 1000 Airplanes On The Roof, avant-chamber group Bang On A Can (pictured, below) will present free afternoon programmes at both venues showcasing some of Glass’ cutting-edge New York heirs, while a Saturday teatime Tramway show features some of the elder statesman’s more hardcore concoctions.
More intimate should be The Smith Quartet’s renditions of Glass’s string-works, while the Scottish Ensemble will feature violinist Robert McDuffie playing a double bill of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons alongside Glass’ The American Four Seasons, written especially for McDuffie. Moving beyond Glass even further, Bang on a Can and Red Note will converge for the weekend’s final performance of Music For Airports, Brian Eno’s 1978 suite that formed the first of his self-styled ‘Ambient’ series, pretty much inventing chill-out rooms as he went.
Minimal: Glass at 75. Tramway, Glasgow, Sat 29 Oct; Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow,
For more info, see glasgowconcerthalls.com