Notes & Reviews:
Cutting-edge pianist meets trendsetting composer: Valentina Lisitsa, whose artistry has bewitched thousands of followers on YouTube, is releasing a double album selection of the most special pieces for solo piano by Philip Glass, whose brand of minimalism has made him one of the most influential composers of our time. Valentina Lisitsa plays Philip Glass brings together two artists with enormous followings, a truly winning combination. Minimalism has never been so big.
Music on the album includes tracks from Stephen Daldry s BAFTA-winning and Academy Award-nominated film The Hours, using the building blocks of minimalism to achieve a huge, inventive soundscape of musical richness and contrasts. The most substantial piece in the collection is the mesmerizing 30-minute How Now, one of the first compositions written for the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1968. Also featured is Metamorphosis, a five-movement work of music for a theatrical adaptation of Kafka s play of the same name. Other tracks include the iconic Mad Rush, which Glass performed at the first public appearance of the 14th Dalai Lama in New York City in 1981 and Mishima / Closing, part of the soundtrack to the 1985 film Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters.
Richly harmonic, this collection of definitive Glass is a deeply evocative listening experience, with revelatory performances from Lisitsa.
Lisitsa is truly in her element with minimalism her Michael Nyman album, Chasing Pianos, released April 2014, won rave reviews. "The YouTube sensation is really at the top of her game and she really makes the music move." (Classic FM). "Lisitsa is an ideal interpreter, making the music her own." (International Piano).
This Glass release follows her November 2014 release of Chopin and Schumann Études.
The Ukraine-born pianist first came to prominence as an online sensation, now with more than 83 million YouTube views and some 165,000 subscribers to her channel, and she has converted her online success into a global concert career in the most prestigious venues of Europe, the USA, South America and Asia.
American Record Guide, July/August 2015
As I think about Ms Lisitsa's excellent recording of Glass piano works. The piano figured prominently in Glass's music from about 1981 on; a lot of the music was written, no doubt, as material for his own solo concerts. Lisitsa has virtuosity in spades and a larger-than-life-persona. She is the only non-contemporary specialist I know to have recorded both Glass and Nyman; I hope she adds other new music to her concert and recording activity. She interprets the music well. I am very pleased that she included the early 1968 work How Now; her performance is expressive and authoritative. The remaining works include selections from The Hours, Metamorphosis, Wichita Vortex Sutra, and the closing music from the Mishima soundtrack in Michael Riesman's arrangement. Sound is exquisite.
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