MOHAMMED FAIROUZ (b.1985): Symphony No. 4 "In the Shadow of No Towers", PHILIP GLASS (b.1937): Concerto Fantasy for 2 Timpanists and Orchestra (transcr. Mark Lortz).
Catalogue Number: 12P085
Description: Glass' concerto gratifyingly does exactly what one would expect from this master of incisive rhythmic patterning with antiphonally placed duelling timpanists as soloists. Vintage Glass, with a propulsive first movement, a solemnly ritualistic slow movement, partly improvised cadenza and an unexpected rumba-ish finale, the music's pointed rhythms if anything emphasized in this arrangement. Fairouz's symphony is based on a graphic narrative by Art Spiegelman, dealing, as the title suggests, with aspects of the 9/11 attacks. The four movements capture the bold directness and uncompromising imagery of the 'serious comic-book' format, in a tonal vocabulary that owes something to Shostakovich and episodes of Glass-like minimalistic gestures, with savagely ironic treatment of trite jingoistic material, a somber, devastated requiem, ingeniously scored so as not to sound like a wind ensemble at all, for a slow movement, and a massively cumulative ostinato-driven finale. Ji Hye Jung, Gwendolyn Burgett (timpani), University of Kansas Wind Ensemble; Paul W. Popiel.