Philip Glass | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Philip Glass 

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Since it is now commonplace for the Philip Glass Ensemble to perform elaborate theater works without Glass himself taking part, Glass recently found a unique way to compensate for the void: give solo piano recitals. On the surface this seems absurd, since the very signature of the ensemble's sound is synthesizers (although usually mixed with voices and woodwinds), and the majority of Glass's works are electronic. Yet Glass makes it all work through the very personal approach he takes, along with some very clever transcriptions from stage works such as Einstein on the Beach and Satyagraha. There are also some powerful pianistic statements such as his popular "Opening" from Glassworks and a new haunting suite, the Kafka-inspired Five Metamorphoses. Unlike the ensemble with its metronomic accuracy, Glass plays his works very freely, with great liberties of syncopation and rubato, rich in varying tone colors and expressive qualities. Glass has been taking great pains to keep these recitals intimate and informal, and always includes some personal comments meant to help audiences experience them more directly. Monday, 8 PM, Goodman Theatre, 200 S. Columbus; 663-1628.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Paula Court.

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