The Glass Violin Concerto is one of the best examples of his current "mature" style, that combines Minimalist techniques with surging lyrical flow and mastery of orchestral forces much larger that the Glass Ensemble. It's been called, with a fascinaring oxymoron, Maximalist Minimalism. This evolution implies the use of the traditional classical forms, such as symphonies and concertos, and, in this respect, the Violin Concerto is one of Glass's most convincing essays. Actually, it's the piece which "converted" me me to the appreciation of a composer whose early output I often criticized. This concerto astonishingly reminds me , of all composers, of Sibelius. There's something of that Nordic master in the otherworldly lyricism of this concerto, especially in the magnificent, impossible-to-forget slow movement, yet this is distinctly a Glassian sound-world. All his trademarks are present in new, enriched forms: arpeggios, repetitions, that marvelous "far/close" effect in the strings. In this respect the two exhilaratingly motoric outer movements are more typically Glassian, and they encapsulate splendidly the middle one, the hauntingly lyrical heart of the whole piece. Gidon Kremer is a splendid, silvery-toned soloist (I've heard him live recently just in the Sibelius and he was peerless) and also a most intelligent musician : very sensitively he doesn't overplay his part , which was written to go along with the orchestra and not in opposition to it in the traditional , virtuoso way. The Wiener Philharmoniker and Christoph von Dohnanyi (that's what I call luxury casting!) sound, somewhat unexpectedly, totally into the idiom. Actually, I'd say that the warm, aristocratic Vienna sound is very apt for this music. It does not surprise me that, after this premier recording, this beautiful work has enjoyed two further ones., from Telarc and Naxos: I bought the Naxos (mainly for the couplings) and it's very good, but probably Kremer's is destined to remain unmatched for a while. The recorded sound is excellent, if not quite state-of-the-art. If you liked this I recommend you warmly the symphonies (especially nos.2 and 3) and, less obviously, an undeservedly lesser-known masterpiece: the soundtrack for the "Secret Agent" , a suite of marvelously addictive music. The couplings are kind of unlikely, but very interesting: the Rorem concerto is a rhapsodic, varied work that grows on you on repeated listenings. There's kind of a Rorem re-discovery currently going on : I don't think it's unforgettably personal music, but this composer has been unjustly neglected for all the wrong reasons (too tonal, too fluent, too openly gay), and deserves to be heard more. The Bernstein Serenade is very enjoyable, if not exactly a milestone, but those who usually respond to his music more warmly than me will love its Stravinskian wit coupled with Bernsteinian flamboyance. A highly rewarding disc.