Philip Glass - The Hours [HD]

Philip Glass — The Hours [HD]

Опубликовано: 21 нояб. 2013 г.Philip Glass — The Hours, 2002. Michael Riesman transcription.
Branka Parlić, piano. Synagogue, Novi Sad. 5.VII.2005

«The Hours», Music from the Motion Picture for piano.
There are movies where you notice the soundtrack, and others where you don't. The latter is usually considered ideal, and yet it's impossible to ignore Philip Glass' pervasive, all-encompassing soundtrack while watching Stephen Daldy's celebrated follow-up to Billy Elliot (the same could just as easily be said of Elmer Bernstein's majestic music for Far From Heaven). This isn't such a bad thing — far from it. The piano-dominated score, incorporating motifs from Glass' Satyagraha, Glassworks, and Solo Piano is, by turns, lush, sumptuous, and stirring.

Philip Glass' score for the film The Hours is very typical of Glass, with its nearly constant repetition and slowly evolving variations on a theme. It suits the moods of the film perfectly, reflecting mesmerically the inner thoughts and emotions of the characters, but remaining subservient to the film itself. Michael Riesman, a long-time associate of Glass, has transcribed the score of The Hours for piano. It wasn't hard for him to do this: the score prominently features the piano alongside the orchestra, and Riesman performed the piano part in the soundtrack recording. His solo piano version covers exactly the same music as on the soundtrack album, but to call it a «reduction» of an orchestral work would be unfair. Yes, it is one instrument instead of many, but just by the facts that it's a single performer being responsible for realizing the music and it's no longer an accompaniment to screen images, Riesman is able to add to it more expression and more life. Even though his tempos and the track times match the soundtrack almost exactly, he is able to take tiny liberties with the phrasing of themes so that the quiet desperation of the music isn't quite as desperate. It doesn't matter if he uses a larger array of dynamics and is not quite as strict with time. Whereas listening to the soundtrack without the film can be almost unbearably boring or depressing, depending on your state of mind, listening to Riesman's version is less so. Although the track titles make no sense without film, in this version, the music is able to stand on its own as a distinct creative work, with more vitality and wider-ranging sentiment than the soundtrack.

The complicated storyline, based on Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel (which was, in turn, inspired by Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway) is inherently dramatic and emotionally compelling enough that it doesn't really «need» music to get its message across. And the actors, including Nicole Kidman (Virginia Woolf), Julianne Moore (Laura Brown), and Meryl Streep (Clarissa Vaughn), breathe such life into these three distinct characters, living in three different time periods, that they don't need really need the music either. But it's always there, like a ghostly presence in each woman's life, helping to tie their divergent storylines together as much as the themes that are common to each. In the end, the score is as much a unifying force as Peter Boyle's deft editing and, most importantly, Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, which was originally to be called The Hours.

Pianist Branka Parlić is one of the most prominent interpreters of contemporary classical music in Eastern Europe. She graduated from the Belgrade University of Musical Arts in the late 1970s and studies under Professor Olga Mihailović. She later honed her craft at the Summer Music Academy in Nice under Professor Pierre Sancan of the Paris Conservatory. While studying, she also co founded the well-known Ensemble for Different New Music.

Taking on the task of presenting the cycle of the legendary Phillip Glass' «Metamorphosis,» is probably the most challenging task in the sphere of contemporary minimalism since Parlic's classical undertaking of Erik Satie's ''Gnossiennes'' in the 1980s. The album which she released back then, called «Initiés,» was the first album that contained one of Satie's compositions ever recorded here.

Branka Parlić premiered the Glass' pieces in Novi Sad in 2004 and the performance of «Metamorphosis No.2» recorded at this show was broadcasted regularly on prestigious British TV channel Classics FM. Recently, another British TV channel C Music TV started to broadcast two videos in Parlic' rendering: «Opening» by Philip Glass and «Spiegel im Spiegel» by Arvo Pärt. She also act as Artistic Director of the Concert Series «New Ears for New Music» in Novi Sad.

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