The superb orchestral music for this powerfully affecting film is by Philip Glass, whose spellbinding 1999 score for Martin Scorcese's Kundun (also on Nonesuch) added an aura of portent and sweep that contributed signif... more »icantly to the film's impact. The film stars Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman & Ed Harris. Slipcase. 2002« less
The superb orchestral music for this powerfully affecting film is by Philip Glass, whose spellbinding 1999 score for Martin Scorcese's Kundun (also on Nonesuch) added an aura of portent and sweep that contributed significantly to the film's impact. The film stars Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman & Ed Harris. Slipcase. 2002
Emily S. from CHICAGO, IL Reviewed on 12/9/2009...
Wonderful instrumental music--I think it is the aural equivalent of looking at a Jackson Pollock painting--lots of repetition and layering, simultaneously complex and simplistic. I find it useful as "thinking music," but also soothing.
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The Finest Glass
James Hiller | Beaverton, OR | 01/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must admit to not being very familiar with Philip Glass' music, although being a movie fan I'm sure that I've heard him before. Sitting through the monumental film, "The Hours", you realize that this music is a flawless marriage of screen and soundtrack, and immediately, after the film ended, I found myself in the nearest music store, soundtrack in hand."The Hours" weaves a complex tale of the seemingly intermingled lives of three complex women, all dealing with various internal crises at significant points of their lives. Virginia Woolf, Clarissa Vaughn, and Laura Brown lives orbit around each other, as each feels their lives are insignificant, yet their significance reigns supreme around the lives of the other, hidden, deep, penetrating.A film of this calibar requires an equally complex, moving score, and Glass not only provides it, but inspires the movie. Each piece illuminates and frames each scene without imperfection. In the theater, you sit in awe at the methodical action on the screen as your ears hear the fluid, grand movements and it's as if Glass is reading the mind of the audience scoring the movie as you think it should be. It is impossible to imagine this movie without the music, and the music without the movie.While it is impossible for me to select a favorite piece among all of them, for this is a soundtrack which each pieces lends autheticity to the next, I must profess a love for the second track, "Morning Passage". There is a section towards the end of that piece when I was listening to it, I literally stopped what I was doing and listened intently, and then replayed it several times before continuing, a very strange act indeed.I highly recommend this work: the emotional depth and honesty, the sadness and enlightment it provides is truly revolutionary."
Matthew Gladney | Champaign-Urbana, IL USA | 02/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Hours" tells the story of three women in three different time periods -- 1923, 1951, and 2001. Their stories are interwoven exquisitely, and arch together in a profound, moving fashion. It is the best film of 2002. The score, composed by Philip Glass, tells the story of that story in such a beautiful way that, without it, the film would be a lesser entity, devoid of part of its essence.This is like listening to a symphony, in 14 Movements. Having seen the film, this score will have quite a bit of meaning to you, but even if you haven't seen the movie, the score will should still resonate. It could easily be a stand-alone classical music piece. The tracks all have a similar sound, but yet, are uniquely different. This is a sad score, for it is a (mostly) sad film. Track 3, titled "Something She Has To Do", is probably my favorite. So somber, so moving.Philip Glass has received an Oscar nomination for his score for "The Hours". It is well-deserved. His use of strings and piano are excellent. His ability to capture the feeling of the film is top notch. I can't recommend this score, or the movie it was written for, enough. The booklet which accompanies this music is quite comprehensive, featuring an introduction by Michael Cunningham, author of "The Hours", and then a description of the three women in each of the time periods covered in the movie. As a remembrance of the movie, or as a piece of music all its own, the score to "The Hours" is a sumptuous aural experience that should be treasured for the great achievement that it is."
Strong, Fragile, Revolutionary
Andrea Choe | Los Angeles, CA | 07/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"His music inspired the movie-literally. Michael Cunningham, the author of The Hours, was inspired by Glass in the writing of this novel and adeptly describes his influence in the leaflet of this soundtrack. To begin with- he breaks all the rules. I bought the piano sheet music to "Dead Things" and where I naturally felt I should crescendo, he purposely demands pianississimo- very, very quiet. He purposely silences the most moving elements, as if to say "wait. just feel it first- dont take it." I hate when people think his music is plain - if one understands music, they know that his work is composed of silk-thin layers of delicated melodies- triplets with one hand, doublets with the other. For those of you out there that dont read music, try to divide a second into 3 equal time frames and tap that beat with your left hand. Then take the same second and divide it into 2 equal time frames and tap that beat at the same time with your right hand. Intuitively, its difficult to do. This is his trademark- he forces musicians to play against their intuition. As another example, try to tap your pinky and middle finger at the same time. Then tap your ring finger and thumb at the same time. Now alternate quickly. Try to do it for 5 minutes and when you have got that down- do it with your other hand. But use different fingers. And do that 3-2 ratio beat thing. Confusing? I would certainly think so.It seems as if such a product could only be made by an eccentric and unyielding mathematician- but when you listen, it has a depth of emotional delicacy that could only be compared to trying to hold onto something you truly love over the edge of the world, with a gradually thinning silver string. I guess what Im saying is- pay the 10, 15 bucks. Its worth it."
Bits of Mishima blended with Solo Piano and....
stuartm | United States | 02/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"a lush, mournful feeling all its own. The soundtrack to Mishima: A Life In Four Chapters (1985 Film) has long been one of my favorite CDs by Philip Glass. The Kronos Quartet delivered a richly emotional performance then that finally revealed the emotional potential of Glass's compositions. With The Hours, the Lyric Quartet and Michael Riesman deliver in the same vein.
I bought this because it was the latest from PG. So I haven't seen the movie and can't comment on how it works for the movie. But I can say with all candor that listening to this soundtrack has given me a powerful desire to see the film. Something that I wouldn't have imagined ever wanting to do.
There are some recycled bits of music in this soundtrack (notably from Satyagraha), but even that track is transformed from a largely choral piece to a purely instrumental one and benefits thereby.
For those whose only exposure to PG is Glass: Einstein on the Beach (1993 Recording) (ugh) or Koyaanisqatsi (1998 Re-recording), this will be a pleasant surprise. The tone is warm and emotional, the pace langorous rather than forced.
Judged purely as a composition, The Hours will be placed as a footnote in the PG canon. Little, if any, new ground is broken. But I can't say it enough - this is passionate, powerful music that is moving and eminently listenable. I know I've already listened to it more than anything I've heard in the last six months."
Excellent introduction to Philip Glass
M. Berman | New York, NY United States | 01/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Philip Glass score was an essential part of the film.
Yet the music really stands on its own with this CD. The Hours is a kinder and gentler Glass that is accessible to people who are new to his music. For those of us who are hard core Glass fans, this CD is also a joy because its so beautiful. The piano solos are my favorite. I really think Glass should win the academy award for this score."