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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two masters bring out the best in each other....
In some ways these are the settings that Cohen's later poems have been waiting for. Warm, rich but sparing music, excellent singers and Leonard's deep tones to set it all off...
Leonard seemed to have lost the plot with the awkward and unconvincing Dear Heather, but his poetry collection from which most of the words here are drawn turned out to be one of the most...
Published on 21 Dec 2007 by John David Charles Hilton

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12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars look away now
Yes, the lyrics are interesting and some of the settings are nicely done...but the singing? Good grief, it really is terrible stuff. The voices are those of sub-standard musical theatre, formal, careful and well-articulated, and with all the character and feel of cardboard. If you're a Cohen fan, I guess you'll find it simply cringe-making.
Published on 21 May 2008 by Paul Callick


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two masters bring out the best in each other...., 21 Dec 2007
By 
John David Charles Hilton "Creative spark...." (Redcliffe, Bristol United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philip Glass: Book of Longing (Audio CD)
In some ways these are the settings that Cohen's later poems have been waiting for. Warm, rich but sparing music, excellent singers and Leonard's deep tones to set it all off...
Leonard seemed to have lost the plot with the awkward and unconvincing Dear Heather, but his poetry collection from which most of the words here are drawn turned out to be one of the most rewarding works of his career.
As if a candid admission of Dear Heather's failure, A Sip of Wine is a resetting of Boogie Street, and the setting here is a much more rewarding experience than the flatness that has marked LCs recent recorded work.
So Cohen fans are served well here, how about Philip Glass fans?
They are also served well. PG fans have, since the inception of Orange Mountain Music, been having a bit of an orgy of new and archive recordings, and this continues that. It doesn't quite sound quite like any other PG work, but that is something that is also true of much of PGs recent work.
In conclusion, highly recommended to both Cohen and Glass fans. If, like myself, you're a fan of both, then this is essential. No two ways about it.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Natural Collaboration, 24 Nov 2007
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muz "muz" (Swindon, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philip Glass: Book of Longing (Audio CD)
Ok I'm reviewing this before hearing the CD itself, but that's because I saw them perform this song cycle live at the barbican recently, so I know what I'm talking about!

This is a very natural, easy collaboration, and follows on neatly from Glass' earlier settings of the work of beat poet Allen Ginsberg to music (Hydrogen Jukebox). The occasional appearance of Cohen himself reading some of the shorter pieces complements the four singers nicely, and there's a wonderful counterpoint between the lighter pieces and the darker works like Puppet Time.

Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glass back at his best, 31 Mar 2008
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Mr. Warren M. Fisher (East Grinstead, West Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philip Glass: Book of Longing (Audio CD)
Glass's finest work for many years, this setting of Leonard Cohen's poetry is reminscent in style and scope to 'Hydrogen Jukebox' (Glass's setting of Allen Ginsberg's poetry), but is even better. Dark, haunting and deeply evocative this the perfect meeeting of two masters, and again underscores Glass's position as the greatest living composer.

Minimalism at its finest.
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12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars look away now, 21 May 2008
By 
Paul Callick (manchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philip Glass: Book of Longing (Audio CD)
Yes, the lyrics are interesting and some of the settings are nicely done...but the singing? Good grief, it really is terrible stuff. The voices are those of sub-standard musical theatre, formal, careful and well-articulated, and with all the character and feel of cardboard. If you're a Cohen fan, I guess you'll find it simply cringe-making.
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13 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Leonard's Songs Belong In The Gutter, 23 Aug 2008
By 
pikeyboy (carmarthen, uk) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Philip Glass: Book of Longing (Audio CD)
I wholeheartedly disagree with some of the reviewers who claim that Glass has provided the perfect setting for Cohen's later poetry. For one, Cohen on paper is not as great a poet as he is in song. In fact, his later poetry harks back a good deal to the poetry of the beats (Kerouac, Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, etc) and is comparable to a great degree to the late, great Charles Bukowski, but not as good, in my opinion. The difference being that Bukowski had no choice but to immerse himself in a squalid existence, and write, as it were, inside the belly of the whale. Cohen, on the other hand, has always exuded real class, and he has a much higher-minded side to his character, so that i.e. in 'The Energy Of Slaves' when he writes of Valentina, that "I loved to creep up behind her/when she was engrossed in Star Trek/and kiss her little ass-hole" it may be honest yet it somehow lacks the ring of truth. In other words, it sounds like a cheap shot - bitter, almost. That said, I abhor the current trend which aims to add a certain grandeur, or high-cultural quality, to popular song. Leonard has always been a cut above: we don't need jaded classicists to remind us of that. However, the music of Cohen belongs in the gutter, in the mouths and hearts of the poor and intoxicated. I bought this cd in haste, and I can't stand to listen to it. I will keep it for the artwork alone. For anyone else, give it a wide berth.
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Philip Glass: Book of Longing
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