The works in this programme demonstrate Philip Glass’s perpetual goal of connecting with his audience. Taking shape as something like a hidden sonata form, Mad Rush contrasts peaceful atmosphere with tempestuousness and mesmerizing beauty. The last of its kind in Glass’s oeuvre, 600 Lines, here receiving its première recording on solo piano, is an obsessive and hypnotically restless toccata that represents the zenith of his experiences while working with Ravi Shankar. These two monumental works are joined by première recordings of the subtly transformed Metamorphosis 2, and Glass’s only transcription in the form of Paul Simon’s The Sound of Silence.
Nikolai Borisovich Obukhov (Nicolas Obouhow) (1892–1954) was a modernist and mystic Russian composer, active mainly in France. An avant-garde figure who took as his point of departure the late music of Scriabin, he fled Russia along with his family after the Bolshevik Revolution, settling in Paris. His music is notable for its religious mysticism, its unusual notation, its use of an idiosyncratic 12-tone chromatic language, and its pioneering use of electronic musical instruments in the era of their earliest development.
Sirens, the third album from Nicolas Jaar, falls somewhere between the contemplative microhouse of first album Space Is Only Noise (2011) and the glossier follow-up Pomegranates (2015). Introduced with the haunting 11-minute track "Killing Time," Jaar integrates new elements into his sound, from the synth pop of "Three Sides of Nazareth" to the jungle of "The Governor." The continuous presence of vocals makes it Jaar's most emotional work yet, opening the door to a wider audience.