PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): Spuren der Verirrten (The Lost).
Catalogue Number: 09Q077
Label: Orange Mountain Music
Description: We are all 'The Lost' in Peter Handke's play, on which Glass' opera is based. The work consists of an accumulation of a large number of characters - drawn from real life, fiction, mythology, or faceless, nameless strangers in the street - engaged in their own banal, day to day interactions, the whole eventually becoming a tumultuous expression of the vast, incessant, futile activity of the human race en masse, and simultaneously a celebration of the thing we all have in common, and the only thing we really accomplish; the act of being alive. Partly because of this dramatic incoherence, this work, described by the composer as his attempt at Gesamtkunst, stands somewhat apart from Glass' other recent operas. Dramatically it has more in common with Einstein... (35 years ago!) but the language is now much more flexible, much less strictly minimalist. The familiar gestures are all there, of course; arpeggios, oscillating minor thirds, the chord sequences and so on - this could only be the composer of the Mishima soundtrack, Satyagraha and Akhnaten - but the harmonies change more rapidly these days, repeated gestures repeat less literally, and the orchestration is more adventurous and texturally varied. It's too early to tell, of course, but this may be the work for which Glass ends up being remembered as a great composer, rather than just an historically significant one. 2 CDs. Libretto included. Landestheater Linz, Bruckner Orchestra Linz; Dennis Russell Davies.