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Philip Glass: "Heroes" Symphony (From the Music of David Bowie & Brian Eno)
Philip Glass, David Bowie, Brian Eno
Philip Glass: "Heroes" Symphony (From the Music of David Bowie & Brian Eno)
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Rock, Classical, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1


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Quotation marks should go around the word "symphony"
John F. Isham | Kenosha, WI | 01/19/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"For those who are intrigued by the prospect of hearing the orchestral sound of Philip Glass based on a 1977 Bowie/Eno album, go straight to his *Low Symphony*, but by all means avoid the one based on *"Heroes"*.

The *"Heroes" Symphony* is a sequel in the worst sense of the word, produced in order to cash in on something that had succeeded (both commercially and aesthetically) a few years earlier. It takes only a few minutes of listening to realize that the composer's heart and imagination aren't into it at all. Glass has nowhere near the familiarity or feel for the original music here that he had for *Low*, and it's virtually impossible to spot any sort of "symphonic" link between the six adaptations/compositions strung together on this disc. The inspiration is missing, the sequences tend to be derivative, the motifs strangely and almost arbitrarily chosen...and you'll never want to put it back in your player again after the first listening (if you can even make it through that). This, imho, is the audio equivalent of a cheaply manufactured and obnoxious smelling perfume. The product's cardboard container only magnifies its cheapness.

The *Low Symphony* was an authentically sublime piece of music, both for those who like Philip Glass and for those who treasure the original Bowie/Eno album. It even holds potential appeal for those unfamiliar with any of the three artists' work and who happen to come across it by chance and experience it on its own terms.

By contrast, the *"Heroes" Symphony* was targeted solely at potential buyers like myself who couldn't help but bite as soon as the lure had been dropped. The real shame is that it now tarnishes for me the unadulterated appreciation I once had for the *Low Symphony* and I even listen to that far less now than I otherwise would.

Do yourself a favor and don't make the same mistake I did. Go for the *Low Symphony* without any hesitation, but keep your distance from this one.
If you like Glass, pick this up
G. C. Todd | Memphis | 09/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Glassworks is a great place to start if you are unfamiliar with Glass, but this c.d. is also a good example of his approach to classical music. Too many reviewers simply don't like what he does: combine musical motifs with sound patterns that often repeat in gradual variations. The themes are frequently from unique musical or visual sources- in this case the largely experimental rock album "Heroes" - within the context of classical instrumentation and arrangement. Don't expect symphonic versions of songs from the l.p., rather the listener should view the Bowie/Eno influence through a more expressionistic lense. I find the "Heroes" Symphony to be every bit as interesting as the earlier Low Symphony (also based on themes from the Bowie/Eno Berlin records); and just as the original Low/Heroes recordings in the 70's were strikingly different, so are these."
Interesting find
Colin Pool | 05/19/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I came across this CD in a used record store for cheap, and being a fan of Bowie and Eno, as well as Phillip Glass's minimalist compositional style, I picked it up. It didn't blow me away per se, but I found it to be an extremely impressive and captivating work. The way the compositions build is incredibly well orchestrated, and, though numerous liberties were taken with the originals, Glass's reworkings still fit the originals well enough, and provide interesting new interpretations for old fans and new. The work also serves to expose Bowie and Eno to a classical audience, an interesting though in and of itself :-)"