638

Branka Parlic: Metamorphosis (The Music Of Philip Glass)

Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
Branka Parlic: Metamorphosis (The Music Of Philip Glass)
If there is one musician whose music is instantly recognizable, it's Philip Glass. His intricate melodies, repetitive patterns, combustive rhythms and sharp lyricism are just some of the trademarks that have featured throughout the different phases of his career. His music has inspired many artists, one of whom is Branka Parlic, a professor and long-time chief advocate of minimalist and avant-garde music in Serbia. Apart from giving lectures on these often different streams in modern music, she regularly performs their music on solo piano. So far, her only output, by which many know her name, is an interpretation of Erik Satie's Gnossiennes.

The music on this CD was recorded live at the Novi Sad Synagogue, which gives it a spacious feeling. It touches upon different periods of Glass' career, and these rearranged compositions can be found on his Solo Piano (CBS, 1989), with few exceptions like "Glassworks - Opening," "Modern Love Waltz" and the theme from The Hours soundtrack (Nonesuch, 2003).

Musically, the building points are still largely the same. The centerpiece of the album is the seventeen-minute "Ad Rush," a composition that Glass wrote when the Dalai Lama first addressed the public in 1981 in New York. It was originally played by Glass on organ during the Dalai's entrance into the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Parlic elegantly passes through the mellodies, and the shimmering piano elegantly grabs the listener in its dark grip.

"Wichita Vortex Sutra" was inspired by an accidental meeting between two longtime friends, Glass and poet Allen Ginsberg, in St. Mark's Books, a popular bookstore in the East Village. The theme from The Hours soundtrack is something of a surprise. Glass' earlier works have always been favored and covered more by other artists, which has not always been the case with his later output. Regardless, both the film and the accompanying soundtrack are excellent, poignantly showing Glass' uncanny lyricism. The soundtrack was later rearranged for solo piano, and this arrangment was taken from there.

Glass' melodies are perfectly made for solo piano, and even though some of the main features in his music have rarely changed through the years, interpreting his music is not an easy task, as whoever plays these melodies will end up associated with his music. Parlic shows an exquisite touch in her interpretation of the piece, paying great attention to the varying dynamics and pace throughout. This approach enables her to produce a recording which is both heartfelt and academic in its precision. For many reasons it is an essential recording by an exceptional player, and to many, this will be a first step into the world of minimalism and the music of Philip Glass.

Track Listing

Metamorphosis 1-5; Mad Rush; Wichita Vortex Sutra; Glassworks-Opening; The Hours; Modern Love Waltz.

Personnel

Branka Parlic: piano.

Album information

Title: Metamorphosis (The Music Of Philip Glass) | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: B92

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Waterwheel
Daniel Thatcher
New Leaves
Dan Rose, Claudine Francois
Astonishments
Steve Swell
A Swingin' Sesame Street Celebration
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton...
Transformation
Glenn Close/Ted Nash
Special Edition: Procedural Language
Ivo Perelman & Matthew Shipp
Ever Since The World Ended
Lauren White and the Quinn Johnson Trio
Rah! Rah!
Claire Daly

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.