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  • Philip Glass: Symphony No. 3
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Philip Glass: Symphony No. 3

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Dennis Russell Davies
  • Composer: Philip Glass
  • Audio CD (21 Aug. 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B00004T22L
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 107,852 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Movement 1
2. Movement 2
3. Movement 3
4. Movement 4
5. Interlude No. 1
6. Mechanical Ballet
7. Interlude No. 2
8. The Light

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Marcus Webb on 5 Feb. 2003
Typically later Glass in its style this music isn't the sort of thing that grabs you and shakes you to make its point known. You listen for some time and then you find that much to your surprise you are immersed in the music. Not as good as Heroes or Low symphonies, which are more publically accessible, but nonetheless something which with repeated listening grows on you until you get to the end and find yourself wishing it had been just that little bit longer.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John David Charles Hilton on 7 April 2003
Glass's 3rd Symphony flowed on nicely from its predecessor. The orchestral sound is rich, and the melodic flow rewarding and logical. It is a well rounded work with a warmth that avoids sentimentality and a string sound that avoids over-reliance on the trademark string runs that were all too familiar in some of his early work. A fine and genuinely modern symphony. The accompanying works are no mere makeweights either, and in their way, add to the opening symphony. But perhaps the symphony should have been placed last as it is the major work on the CD. That minor gripe aside this is a fine disc and well worth considering, especially as an introduction to the work of one of the world's most popular living composers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 19 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The Light! 21 Mar. 2003
By Jason Bunch - Published on
I find it funny that "The Light" was so poorly received. It is the proper climax for this subtle and excellent release. I have been a long time Philip Glass fan and find nearly all of his releases to be unique masterful pieces of work. Those who complain it is all of the same, simply are not listening. Recently I let a friend borrow some of his cds and because I couldn't find one that was totally representative, I sent him home with four. Most artists could suffice with one, but I can't think of a single cd that gives a good overview of the supposedly "all of it is the same" Philip Glass. This release is no exception. Symphony 3 is one of Glass's more subtle works and requires a careful listen. I think it is probably best appreciated by long time fans, who realize the variance and subtlety of the piece. What follows are some excellent pieces by any other standard, but admittedly not total standouts for Glass. Nevertheless any listener will enjoy them fully as they are quite good, just not as good as what is to come, which is "The Light." "The Light" is full-on Glass that starts with whimsy and works its self up into the heights of heaven. An astonishing and inspiring work that stands as one of his best. This cd would be worth getting for this piece alone, luckily it is worth getting for the whole thing.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
There�s more than just Symphony 3 on this CD 29 Jun. 2000
By Richard Morgan - Published on
While many of Philip Glass's other CDs are presented as a single thematic package (even Glassworks has the same feel to much of the music), this release is a compilation of shorter works pressed together on one CD.
Symphony Number 3 is heavy on the strings with plenty of sliding and pizzicato; overall, the symphony isn't as dynamic and powerful as his Symphony Number 2. However, the tonal myriad of the various strings is a real treat. While the first and second movements are energetic, the real cornerstone of the symphony is the somber third movement. It is reminiscent of his operatic work as a sequence is repeated throughout the various instruments with various additions and subtractions made as the movement progresses. The short forth movement returns to the energetic feel of the second movement finishing the symphony with a flourish.
There are two interludes from the CIVIL warS included. As the name of an interlude would suggest, these pieces are bridge pieces with a softness and subtlety of play. While the CIVIL warS itself can be cacophonous at times, these interludes are calming and quite melodic. Between the two interludes, a piece from The Voyage is included. This short piece uses the full orchestra alternating between dramatic crescendos and softer solos. It definitely has my interest as to what the rest of The Voyage sounds like.
The real star of this CD, and my favorite, is The Light. I believe The Light is much like Itaipu in purpose and dimension: dedicated to an achievement of man. Thus, the music is inspiring and dramatic; the use of the brass section of the orchestra is exquisite. The liner notes report that "Mr. Glass depicts the light itself" which I did not hear; it sounds much more "romantic" than just light itself.
Philip Glass critics may say the music on this CD is the same recycled themes found in most of his work. To Philip Glass fans, this CD is a definite addition to their library. So if you're just a casual listener to Philip Glass, pass on this one; for the rest of us fanatics, he can't release this music fast enough. While I gave 5 stars (because whatever you say, it's still Philip Glass and worth 5 stars), when compared to his other discs I'd rate it at 4 stars.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The picture looks like the music sounds - or vice-versa. 4 Dec. 2000
By Douglas T Martin - Published on
The 3rd Symphony sounds like the usual Philip Glass orchestral works but has a stronger-than-usual theme. If not for the patented minor arpeggio/major arpeggio see-sawing I might describe the style as "Romantic classicism". Formidable without being angular - I don't know how to describe the CD except to say that the monocromatic photograph of an expansive landscape used for the CD cover illustrates the sound perfectly - broad and wide open. Excellent performances and recording quality througout.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Maximal Minimalism 3 Oct. 2000
By Thomas F. Bertonneau - Published on
It seems odd, even a bit contradictory, that Philip Glass has produced his Third Symphony (this one for string orchestra): Minimalism never seemed inclined to the large-scale integration of elements required by symphonic composition, and Glass was the most minimal of the minimalists... Think of the repetitions in the Liebestod or those in the build-up to the peroration in the Finale of the Fourth Symphony. So in addressing the symphonic concept, minimalism in its way "comes home" to its own origins. Glass' previous symphonies surprised one by the naturalness with which they took up the genre. That naturalness once again characterizes the Third Symphony, by no means small in scale although restricted to the monochrome medium of the string band. Movement I (of four) is the most reminiscent of the Glass of "Glassworks" and "Koyanisqaatsi." But a different principle, that of development, of traveling from A to B rather than trotting in place, is in play. There are moments, in the vigorous Movement II, that recall William Schuman's motoric Fifth, also for strings alone. One sometimes also thinks of Hovhaness, especially when the plucked strings play against each other in dancy counterpoint. Movement III forms the center-of-gravity of the composition: The mood becomes dark and troubled; Glass generates considerable tension. This is a real crisis, a point-of-crossing, as in one of the Major Odes of the romantic poets. Movement IV puts the crisis behind, although not quite decisively. This disc, with Dennis Russell Davies leading forces from Stuttgart and Vienna, includes another major work, "The Light," based, so we are told, on the Michaelson-Morley experiments that confirmed the speed of light a hundred years ago. This is more tone-poem than symphony and is quite romantic (I daresay, in its way, Lisztian!). Three shorter pieces round out the program. But this disc for the Symphony and for "The Light," two top-flight works by a composer whose development has taken an unexpected turn.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Subtle and elegant, Philip Glass continues to inspire 11 April 2003
By Grady Harp - Published on
The recording industry is particularly kind to the works of Philip Glass and for that we should be thankful. Would that all contemporary composers were allotted the same amount of disc surface! This recording, technically excellent, is one of many riches. At last we have a chance to hear for ourselves THE LIGHT and not depend on the critical hubbub that accompanied its premiere. But by far the most satisfying work on this fine CD is the Symphony No. 3 for chamber orchestra (19 strings). It may require several listenings for those who have not heard it before, but with each new listening the subtleties of tone, harmony, and rhythms grow more apparent. Though some people scorn Glass' music as white sound background music, Glass is certain to maintain his secure place in musical history. And it is through recordings of the quality that Nonesuch lavished on the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and conductor (and long time collaborator) Dennis Russell Davies that guarantee that position. A fine recording.
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