PHILIP GLASS (b.1936): Itaipu (Los Angeles Master Chorale and Orchestra; Grant Gershon), 3 Songs (Crouch End Festival Chorus, National Sinfonia; David Temple).
Catalogue Number: 05L101
Label: Orange Mountain Music
Description: Itaipu dates from 1989, and sets a South American creation myth text in tribute to nature and mankind's reshaping thereof with the huge hydroelectric dam at Itaipu. Not entirely surprisingly, given its provenance and position in Glass' output, the music has more than a little in common with Akhnaten and the film music for Koyaanisqatsi and its sequels. If this is your kind of Glass (as opposed to the small-ensemble, more obsessively repetitive pieces or the more portentous recent neo-romantic works), then this sumptuously scored, richly choral textured work for full orchestra and choir will be sure to give much satisfaction. The choral songs are attractively melodic with a minimalistic texture and accompanimental figuration, in the style of the composer's 1985 solo Songs from Liquid Days.