Since his breakthrough in the 1970s, Philip Glass' hypnotic, mesmerizingly lush minimalism has altered our understanding of what orchestral music can sound like. This November, conductor Dennis Russell Davies, a world-renowned interpreter of Glass' symphonic work, and the 90-member Bruckner Orchestra Linz of Austria (in its American debut) present two of Glass' recent compositions.
For the world premiere of Symphony No. 8, Davies asked Glass to think of the orchestra as a collection of virtuoso instruments typically found in a concerto formation. Unlike his recent text-driven symphonies, Symphony No. 8 marks a return to purely instrumental music. Like all Glass works it promises to be vital and resolutely modern.
Symphony No. 6 (Plutonian Ode), set to Allen Ginsberg's passionate "Plutonian Ode" and arranged for orchestra and soprano (the outstanding Lauren Flanigan), follows the trajectory of the poem-a tumultuous three-part epic that decries nuclear proliferation, urges healing, and finally describes an epiphany reached through personal transformation.