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Re: Philip Glass Symphony No.10
Posted by Colin Mackie on August 14, 2015, 1:46 pm, in reply to "Re: Philip Glass Symphony No.10"
I suffer from 20th century symphonic completist syndrome. If I start collecting the symphonies of a composer then I am driven to get the lot. In the case of Philip Glass this has cost me a lot of money since Orange Mountain cds (Glass's own label of course) offer disgracefully short measure in terms of running time. Whether I have wasted my money, whether Glass is a composer of little (or no) merit is a matter of opinion. Glass polarises such opinion. I certainly do not think that he is anything even remotely approaching a great composer. I give him some slight credit for continuing to write symphonies when that particular genre seems in general decline although I concede that the symphonies might as well be called by some other title. There are works by Glass which I find pleasant, restful and, as I said of the Ninth Symphony, not without some slight merit. These reactions to the music are purely personal.
The issue for me is that by the standards of Philip Glass's own music (which can be evaluated as high or as low as different listeners decide for themselves)the Symphony No.10 is an unmitigated disaster. Set the bar for Glass wherever you like...the Tenth Symphony plumbs depths of such dreary banality and embarrassing awfulness that delve the very depths.
I don't happen to like the music of Rachmaninov or Delius but I have their complete orchestral music on my shelves. In 50 years of collecting late 19th and 20th century orchestral music I cannot recall deciding that I could not, would not add a composer's symphony to my collection.
But Philip Glass's Symphony No.10 is now that exception. I will not buy it, I will not put myself through the excrutiating experience of hearing it again.
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