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Glass: Music in Twelve Parts
Philip Glass, Philip Glass Ensemble
Glass: Music in Twelve Parts
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (3) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (3) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (3) - Disc #3
  •  Track Listings (3) - Disc #4

This four disc boxed set of Philip Glass' seminal Minimalist work is offered as a new recording by Philip Glass and the Philip Glass Ensemble from 2006.


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CD Details

All Artists: Philip Glass, Philip Glass Ensemble
Title: Glass: Music in Twelve Parts
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Orange Mountain Music
Original Release Date: 1/1/2008
Re-Release Date: 7/21/2008
Album Type: Box set, Import
Genre: Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830)
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaCD Credits: 4
UPC: 801837004922


Product Description
This four disc boxed set of Philip Glass' seminal Minimalist work is offered as a new recording by Philip Glass and the Philip Glass Ensemble from 2006.

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CD Reviews

Live not lush
1-0 | California | 07/17/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"For me, hearing a new version of one of the big 70s Glass works is always interesting. I'm not saying I buy all of them, but because of the enormity of the pieces, you just don't hear a ton of different interpretations out there. This new live recording of 12 Parts sounds very different from the 90s Nonesuch recording -- most obviously because that one wasn't live! Where the Nonesuch set was lush, almsot inhumanly precise (though not to say it wasn't gorgeous), this one actually sounds like 8 real musicians playing the piece. The creamy reverb isn't there. The organs and voice don't always line up exactly -- which is to say, they're generally only 98% in synch! ;) The overall tone quality is a bit thinner, and the organs brighter. However, those are all the reasons I bought the set. I like hearing this music as it is in real life (which I have btw), and after all, this *is* the PG Ensemble playing it, so no worries about an amateur performance.

Also, there are some cool things about this set that I didn't hear in the Nonesuch one: the panning is much more apparent, as especially in headphones, you really hear where each instrument is coming from. Along those lines, it's much easier to hear each instrument as an individual entity, as opposed to the homogoneous, milky ensemble mix of the previous recording. Make no mistake, I love the Nonesuch recording -- but I like this one a lot too.

(plus, the Frank Stella print on the cover is perfect!)"
Buy the 1993 studio recording instead
James Edwards | Texas, USA | 01/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I won't go into details about the value of Glass' composition here. To me, Music in Twelve Parts is an incredibly powerful array of rich sonic textures and enervating rhythmic games.

But you'll get a much better sense of that from the original 1993 studio recording. This version suffers from being a live performance. Music in Twelve Parts is a non-stop, four hour long rush of notes, and by part seven or eight the performers become noticeably fatigued, unable to conjure the same frightening vitality heard in the studio recordings, which must have been recorded in smaller spurts. On top of that, the sound quality of this version lacks the fullness and power that the studio recording did, either because of the acoustics of the concert venue, the choice of synthesizer presets, or the sound engineering. Also, I think the 1993 recording has better tempos in some of the movements, especially Part 1.

My parents unknowingly gave me this version as a gift after I fell in love with Music in Twelve Parts listening to the 1996 recording at a library. I was very eager to hear it again, but this version was disappointing.

Get this version only if you place high value on the minutiae of live performances; otherwise the 1993 studio recording will be much more satisfying."
Excellent version
Christopher K. Koenigsberg | Norman, OK USA | 10/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Now I have 3 different recordings of "Music in Twelve Parts". The work itself as a whole is huge, sprawling, monumental in scope, unfolding slowly and deliberately through all kinds of variations and formulations. To me it is akin to some huge, ecstatically delightful, Bach-like expanded auditory hallucination engine, captured and realized and notated and reproduced for us mere mortals, to experience merely at the push of the "Play" button. If you want to exercise all the "mental/perceptual muscles" involved in appreciating music, this is certainly one of the best ways to do it. You'll be amazed and delighted at what you discover -- in the music, and consequently in yourself as the listener/perceiver.

The original recording from the 1980's is taken at the fastest tempo of the 3, I think, which makes certain parts stand out (especially towards the end), but makes other parts less interesting (especially towards the beginning). I think the highest voices (not just the vocal line; the flute, sax etc. instrumental lines) are emphasized the most, in the original recording.

The Nonesuch version from the 1990's is slower than the 80's version, and is a slightly cleaner recording, so certain parts stand out (especially the beginning), DIFFERENT than the ones which stand out in the 80's version.

And now this newest live version is taken at the slowest tempo of all 3 recordings, and is live, so again, certain parts stand out, DIFFERENT than the ones which stand out in the other 2 earlier recordings. I think the middle voices (instrumental lines, I mean) are most prominent in this version.

Last week I went and listened to all 3 versions; I still like them all. This one in this review (the live one from 2008/2009) is certainly a worthy addition to the collection.