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Philip Glass: Low Symphony & Heroes Symphony (2 CDs) The Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra / American Composers Orchestra / Dennis Russell Davies


The symphonic side of David Bowie: exemplary recordings of Philip Glass' "Low Symphony" and "Heroes Symphony" by Dennis Russell Davies.

The death of David Bowie on January 10th, 2016 came as a great shock to the music world. Bowie's exceptional status and his influence stretched far beyond the normal pop and rock circus. Bowie was a universal artist whose work simply didn't recognise the limitations of genre or artistic movement: his work was indeed multi-faceted. The US American composer Philip Glass, a close friend of Bowie from the New York art scene, used themes from two albums from Bowie's famous Berlin trilogy ("Low and "Heroes") for his symphonies no. 1 "Low" (1992) and no. 4 "Heroes" (1996). Dennis Russell Davies, a close associate of Glass' who was responsible for many of his world premieres, recorded the two works with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra in 1992 and 1995. These exemplary recordings are now available together once more. The symphonies prove to be surprisingly melodic pieces of work compared to the ambient originals and Glass' reduced, minimalist style. Glass regarded the orchestral interpretation of the themes to be just as important as the reproduction of the musical flow. In particular, the experimental, ambient compositions (for example, "Warszawa", "V2 Schneider" and "Neu Köln") reveal new musical depths in their "classical" versions. David Bowie and Brian Eno, the main composers of the original material, were also directly involved in the symphonic interpretation; their impressions were incorporated into Glass' score. A must for every Bowie fan and two important chapters in the story of contemporary music.

Salvatore Pichireddu | Jan 20, 2016


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