Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Symphony No. 3 (Gloria)
Genres: Alternative Rock, Jazz, Special Interest, New Age, Pop, Rock, Classical
Listen to Samples
The ecstasy of music, the agony of liner notes
Mark Glinski | Chicago, Illinois United States | 06/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love Glenn Branca's music on this CD, but I don't understand a blessed word of his liner notes. Apparently, this symphony has something to do with unorthodox tuning or intervals of a harmonic series or some such thing. I'm not a musician. Be that as it may, I highly recommend listening to this piece on headphones to appreciate the rarified atmospheres and textures Branca creates by layering multiple guitars and custom-built keyboards. Some folks who know more about music than I do object to Branca calling his extended works symphonies. I think I can understand his argument though. Symphonic composition often treats multi-instrument ensembles as a single instrument in order to coax forth different aural experiences which could not be generated on single instruments. I love what Branca does with massed guitars. In the context of Symphony #3, the effect is more blurred and ethereal rather than jagged, as in, say, "The Ascension". Is it rock? Is it classical? Anybody really care? One other note: I find that the music is somewhat static in nature. It doesn't really go anywhere. It hovers. From my experience, the changes occur not with the music itself but with the listener. Enjoy."
One of Branca's best
The Almighty Sommy | Livonia, MI, USA | 02/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The only aspect of Branca's music which really makes it appropriate to deem any of it as "classical" is the sheer grandiosity of his works and what Steve Reich once referred to as a fascist conductorial style.
Anyway, this was the first Branca record I ever actually purchased, as I'd been familiar with his Symphony No. 6, the Ascension, and Symphonies 8 & 10 prior to hearing this. At first, I was pretty turned off by his restraint on this disc, but over time, I began to appreciate the glacial evolution of the first movement, its gorgeous harmonic overtones, and the ecstatic extended climax near the end of the track.
The second and third movements are far more abrasive and oppressive, and with much more success than most other Branca fare. Much less repetitive than most of his other abrasive works, the second movement's unpredictability lends itself to an enjoyably appalling first listen, and subsequent listens garner the listener an appreciation for the fingernails-on-chalkboard walls of tone clusters.
Highly recommended for patient lovers of contemporary music."
Just A Guy | New York City, NY USA | 12/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Imagine an orchestra of electric guitars, at maximum volume, with a pounding drummer and bass. Imagine them conducted by a disheveled composer gestulating like a madman, sweat flying in all directions. You are surrounded by a whirling sound of jet aircraft taking off, for forty-five minutes.... No, wait, it's the sound of The Gods calling you from Heaven! And they have Marshall amplifiers! The interminable droning noise has seduced you into a state of sustained orgasm! Longtime player in the New York avant-garde music scene, Branca's orchestra has been the training ground and artistic reference point for many influential rock musicians, Sonic Youth and Helmet being the most notable. If you are at wit's end trying to find something different, and are prepared to listen to a difficult, brilliant sound, buy this album. If you just want to test the water, look for the (unfortunately rare) "The Ascension", a collection of his shorter "songs". And if you are of strong of character, see him live. Bring earplugs. And an adult undergarment."