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Huge Pride of the day : GlassWorlds Vol.5 reviewed by Music Web International
by David Barker
"Nicolas Horvath plays this music wonderfully well: warm and expressive or cold and mechanical as required. His notes are again excellent, and the Fazoli piano sounds glorious"

Complete review :

I encountered this series for the first time with the previous volume, attracted by the piano version of the soundtrack of The Hours (review). Having enjoyed that, it was logical to ask for this new release to review. That the two major works were relatively early ones made me somewhat reticent, because it is Glass of The Hours that most appeals to me, the early hard-core minimalism less so.
As it eventuated, I was right to be wary but only in respect of one of the two early works. Unfortunately it is the one - 600 Lines - that occupies more than half the running time. It is described as an “obsessive and hypnotically restless toccata” which does give some sense of it. It came at the end of Glass’s studies with Ravi Shankar and is constructed from five pitches, which very slowly mutate. It may be of interest in terms of what can be done with such limited resources but it is certainly doesn’t make for easy listening. If I had been playing this as an LP, I would have concluded that the stylus had become stuck but even so I checked that the CD timer was progressing. Lest I be accused of being simply intolerant of this type of work, I enjoy greatly the 160 minutes of Simeon ten Holt’s Canto Ostinato, with which it has much in common.
Mad Rush is described as one of Glass’s “keystone works”, showing the direction that his music would take. Certainly, it is very clear to see where The Hours music comes from. Yes, there is repetition but there is also progression, melody and warmth; all things which distinguish it from 600 Lines.
Metamorphosis I-V were included in Volume 3, and the work here is described as a further evolution, one that is very subtle. I have to admit that the differences are hard to spot. Though nowhere in the notes for either volume is it suggested that Metamorphosis II (or Two) share music with The Hours, they surely do.
Finally, we have what is believed to the only arrangement of another’s music that Glass has made. It is fascinating to hear the much-loved Simon melody thrive under the Glass treatment. I felt disappointed when it finished so soon.
Nicolas Horvath plays this music wonderfully well: warm and expressive or cold and mechanical as required. His notes are again excellent, and the Fazoli piano sounds glorious.
If you appreciate all of Glass’s styles, then this will provide great satisfaction. If like me, your tastes run to the more melodious end of the spectrum, ignoring forty minutes of the recording does make it harder to justify.

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Pride of the Day : GlassWorlds Vol.5 reviewed by Stephen Smoliar (The Examiner)

A little over a week ago, Grand Piano released the fifth volume of Glassworlds, the project of pianist Nicolas Horvath to record the solo piano works of Philip Glass. The title of the album is Enlightenment. It features the longest uninterrupted track (a little over 40 minutes) that Horvath has recorded to date. This is “600 Lines,” one of the first two pieces composed for the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1968 and originally scored for winds and synthesizer. This album is the premiere recording of the composition performed as a piano solo.
As I have previously written, my own first contact with Glass took place at a performance by the Philip Glass Ensemble at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in the spring of 1970. There were three pieces on the program, each about twenty minutes in duration; and I have tried to reconstruct what they were. On the basis of sources I have consulted, my current conjecture is that they were “Music in Similar Motion,” “Music with Changing Parts,” and “Music in Fifths.” This was my first exposure to Glass’ “music with repetitive structures” technique. It did not take me long to “get it;” and, back in those days when there was a serious threat that making music might get taken over by abstract mathematicians (I was writing a doctoral dissertation in applied mathematics at the time), Glass’ music was a welcome breath of fresh air.
I wonder if I would have reacted to Glass quite as positively had my very first experience been of the uninterrupted 40 minutes of “600 Lines.” I suspect that the mathematician in me would have been fascinated with its almost obsessive approach to working with a bare minimum of motivic material that is then subjected to extensive permutation and combination. The question, however, is whether I would have succumbed to enough-is-enough exasperation before the piece had concluded; and that question would be coupled with just when that sense of “enough” overtook my listening capacity.
I find it interesting that there is no mention about the signification of the title “600 Lines” on the Philip Glass Web site, either in Glass’ own notes for the Compositions section or in those by Ivan Moody for the Alter Ego recording Web page. In contrast to the rethinking of counterpoint and harmony that I had encountered at the Guggenheim, “600 Lines” is obsessively monodic, consisting entirely of what at least can be notated as a single line. I use that hedge phrase because there is a plethora examples of how Johann Sebastian Bach could write something that way that still embodied elaborate structures of both counterpoint and harmony. Whether it is possible to find 600 separate “lines” in “600 Lines” may be a challenge for analysis; but I am not sure that the results would have much impact on the listening experience.
This takes us back to the enough-is-enough issue. I think that age has granted me a gift of greater patience when dealing with extended durations. Those who have been following me for some time know of the satisfaction I can get from listening to the symphonies of Anton Bruckner; and, while there is no mistaking Glass for Bruckner, it may be that the stance of the listener does not have to vary as much as one might suspect. Both of these composers are best enjoyed by the listener willing to let go of any “conventional” expectations and just let things happen. If one simply accepts a rhetoric in which repetitions are frequent but are consistently transformed into new repetitions, one can actually settle rather comfortably into the act of listening to “600 Lines” without succumbing to the enough-is-enough syndrome. Some Zen monk might call this a state of “enlightenment,” which might explain Horvath’s choice of title for the album; but, personally, I see no reason to let verbal semantics interfere with this particular approach to music-making.
The other major work on the album is “Mad Rush,” whose duration is about half that of “600 Lines.” Grand Piano’s advance material for this piece describes the structure as “something like a hidden sonata form.” This strikes me as being more appropriate for a graduate student in a desperate search for a thesis topic than for setting a context for the curious and sympathetic listener. “Mad Rush” may have had its origins in the classical concept of preceding an opening allegro movement with an adagio introduction; but, on the full twenty-minute scale of “Mad Rush,” structure comes down to the tension of oscillation between two senses of pace. (The noun “tempo” sounds a bit too dispassionate for music whose rhetoric comes off as far more personal.)
This is music most likely to resonate with anyone living in a major metropolis. The title refers to the inevitable chaotic hustle and bustle that a pedestrian is likely to encounter on just about any street, and Glass captures that with repetitive arpeggios that almost depict that street scene as Brownian motion. (Think of how many of the visual images captured by Godfrey Reggio in Koyaanisqatsi, accompanied by Glass’ music, can be taken, when seen from the distance that Reggio establishes, as Brownian motion.) In that “metropolitan” setting, the alternating adagio sections may be taken as the quiet seclusion of solitude.
All of this unfolds as yet another instance of Glass working with repetitive structures. However, Horvath plays this music with considerable attention to the dynamic level of every note, even within the thickest textures of superimposed arpeggios. Thus, it does not take long for the attentive listener to realize that, while the structures of the marks on the score page may be repetitive, the performance itself has a rhetorical shape of its own that enhances the surface structure of repetition with the deep structure of something more like a journey. This may be what the writers of the advance material had in mind for “a hidden sonata form;” but I have my doubts!
Not too long ago I was fortunate enough to listening to Glass himself play “Mad Rush” at a special Gala concert honoring the retirement of Ruth Felt, founder and President Emeritus of San Francisco Performances. Glass has observed that he has written piano music to keep his hands in shape as he gets older. However, his performance of “Mad Rush” was more than a “therapeutically” elaborate five-finger exercise; and it did not take long for me to settle into thinking about this music as a journey. Horvath’s recording seems to be thinking along the same lines; and, for all of my preferences for listening to music in a concert setting, the version of “Mad Rush” on this album comes very close to being just as satisfying as my recent “live” experience.
“Mad Rush” and “600 Lines” are separated by the second of the five “Metamorphosis” pieces that Glass composed for solo piano in 1988. Horvath had already recorded this as part of piano versions of the complete set (all of which began as instrumental compositions) in the third volume of his project. I am not sure that there is a need for two separate performances of this piece (and, given the times on the track listenings, they appear to be distinct performances); but the idea of a “spacer” between the two long works on the album is definitely appreciated. Somewhat more amusing is the “coda” for the album, which is Glass’ own arrangement of Paul Simon’s “The Sound of Silence,” whose primary objective seems to be to assure the listener that Glass can be as comfortable with schmaltzy rhetoric as any other composer! One might almost call the arrangement a “remembrance of things Lisztian” (even if the point of reference would probably be late Liszt)!

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Huge Pride of the Day : Thierry Magne 's Interview (about me ^^)…/meeting-the-pianist-nicolas-horva…/

Pour mes amis français , vous pouvez lire cette dernière dans le langage de Molière ici émoticône ;) :

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Huge Pride of the Day : GlassWorlds Vol.5 Reviewed by ResMusica:

Jean-Luc Clairet (24 October 2016) : A Emporter "Le Piano de Glass En Cinemascope"

"Sous les doigts de Nicolas Horvath, la France rend à Philip Glass le statut qu’elle lui a longtemps dénié : le classique qu’il est devenu"

HO YEAH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Complete review :

Ce volume 5 de ce qui pourrait être une intégrale de la musique composée ou transcrite pour piano du grand compositeur américain par Nicolas Horvath fait voisiner, à l’instar des volumes précédents, classiques et inédits, et fait entendre une approche inhabituelle de pièces que l’on pensait figées à jamais dans le marbre d’une esthétique.

« Je suis certaine qu’un jour il réalisera quelque chose de très important dans le monde de la musique », prophétisa Nadia Boulanger au sujet de son élève américain. Bien vu ! Philip Glass, à 79 ans, est aujourd’hui « le compositeur-pas-encore-mort » le plus fêté par les spécialistes autant que par le grand public qu’il a su toucher au moyen d’un style populaire et exigeant qui n’appartient qu’à lui. La nuit blanche Glassworlds que Nicolas Horvath a donnée le 1er octobre dernier à la Philharmonie de Paris a vu, au terme de onze heures non stop, le public rappeler le jeune pianiste durant plus d’une heure. De mémoire de mélomane, l’on n’avait pas vu cela depuis la grande époque Chéreau/Boulez à Bayreuth ! Cadeau pour les glassiens et pour le compositeur qui, s’il avait été là, aurait vu défiler toute sa vie.

Le style de Nicolas Horvath, en vrai comme au disque, est tout autre autre que celui de ses devanciers (le compositeur, son alter ego Michael Riesman, Paul Barnes, Maki Namekawa). Quand il n’est pas d’une infinie douceur, confronté à la mélancolie récurrente de cette musique, le doigté affiche une virtuosité qui évoque les défis lisztiens. L’impression initiale d’un jeu un brin démonstratif laisse ensuite place au sentiment que le pianiste, amoureux fou d’un compositeur qui le bouleverse autant que Chopin, veut offrir à sa musique née de l’intime (Glass dit avec humilité que ses propres Études ont fait de lui-même un meilleur pianiste ! ) le cinémascope des Steinways, des grandes salles de concert (Horvath a joué en 2015 la première intégrale des Études à Carnegie Hall). Le piano de Glass en technicolor : certes inhabituel pour les gardiens du temple glassien mais assurément convaincant dans l’absolu.

Après avoir révélé le superbe Dreaming awake sur le volume 1, l’irrésistible A secret solo et Piano Sonata n° 2, une pièce d’avant le « grand coup de pied dans la fourmilière sérielle » (ainsi que le dit avec humour le compositeur lui-même) sur le volume 3, fait tenir, moyennant quelques reprises et tempi, les 20 Études sur un seul CD, Horvath ouvre le cinquième chapitre de Glassworlds avec la matrice Madrush, dans une version idéalement maîtrisée et plus longue que celle de 1989 sous les doigts du compositeur. Ayant visiblement été très à l’affût des concerts solo de Glass, Horvath enchaîne avec une nouvelle version d’un recueillement extrême d’une de ses plus belles pièces, Metamorphosis Two, puis avec le grand écart compositionnel d’une première mondiale : 600 lines, radicale composition de 1968 pour vents et synthétiseur conçue comme exercice pour le frais émoulu Philip Glass Ensemble d’alors mais qui n’est que jeu pour le pianiste français d’aujourd’hui.

En conclusion une transcription très émouvante par Glass du tube de Paul Simon The sound of silence achève de faire naître l’idée que, sous les doigts de Nicolas Horvath, la France rend à Philip Glass le statut qu’elle lui a longtemps dénié : le classique qu’il est devenu.

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GlassWorlds Vol.5 "Enlightenment" promo video is OUT !

My dear friends , mes chers amis

Today, as a new chapter is about to start, it is with pride and a bit of nostalgia (of the time that was and won't never be) that i am showing you the last Glass Promo Vidéo.

Cette fois là , l'équipe de Visual Laboratorium a réalisé un travail simplement magnifique !!!!! Vraiment !!!!
Aujourd'hui, alors qu'un nouveau chapitre est sur le point de commencer, c'est avec fierté et un brin de nostalgie (du temps qui n'est plus) que je vous montre la dernière vidéo promo de GlassWorlds.

This time the Visual Laboratorium did an amazing work !!!! Really !!!! I was so much happy when they showed me what they have done ! ! !
And at the end ..... the very first interactive animated title for a classical vidéo ever !!!

Cette fois là , l'équpie de Visual Laboratorium a réalisé un travail simplement magnifique !!!!! Vraiment !!!!
J'ai été époustouflé quand ils m'ont montré leur premiers résulats !!!!

Et à la fin .... pour la première fois dans une promo vidéo dédiée à la musique classique : un menu interactif !
ENJOY !!!!!!!!

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My dear friends , today i am invited on 2 Radio Live programs :

At 4 pm (french time) : France Inter : La Récréation de Vincent Josse

Where i will perform live :
P. Glass : Orphée's Bedroom
P. Simon / P. Glass : the Sounds of Silence
Jaan Raats : Radio 4

At 10 pm (french time) : France Musique, Lionel Esparza 's Classic Club

I hope you will enjoy it !!!!

Mes chers amis, Aujourd'hui je suis invité à passer en direct dans deux programmes de radio :

A 16 h : sur France Inter : la Récréation de Vincent Josse
lors de laquelle je vais interpréter en direct :

P. Glass : Orphée's Bedroom
P. Simon / P. Glass : The Sounds of Silence
Jaan Raats : Radio 4

A 22 h : sur France Musique au Classic Club de Lionel Esperaza

ENJOY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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Pride of the day :
Interview for Les Veilles Musicales !
#music   #interview   #glassworlds   #philipglass   #life   #nicolashorvath   #glassworld   #lif
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