Magazine article Gramophone

Glass: Music for the Crucible

Magazine article Gramophone

Glass: Music for the Crucible

Article excerpt

Glass

Music for the Crucible

Miranda Cuckson vn Jeffrey Zeigler vc

Orange Mountain (F) 0MM0112 (4V * DDD)

Glass has long maintained that he is a theatre composer rather than a minimalist, and has drawn inspiration from the medium over a period of 50 years from early experiences of seeing experimental theatre productions to being in-house composer for the avant-garde company Mabou Mines, which he co-founded in 1970. However, apart from a few cues from Music for Foices, Dressed Like an Egg or his String Quartet No 2 (the latter originally composed for Mabou Mines' production of Samuel Beckett's Company), very little of Glass's theatre music has actually been released on disc. This recording of music composed for the 2016 Broadway production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible pardy redresses the imbalance.

Miller's chilling account of the 1692 Salem witch-hunt, which dramatises the breakdown of society, unleashing the destructive power of mob mentality, continues to resonate with audiences. One can understand why director Scott Rudin whose cinematic collaborations with the composer have included The Truman Show and The Hours--opted for Glass's distinctive brand of theatre music, with its dark, obsessive ostinatos, disquieting harmonic shifts and downwards-moving melodic shapes. …

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