Boomkat Product Review:
Under the direction of conductor, Elias Arizcuren, the Cello Octet Conjunto Iberico have assembled a program of Philip Glass' works that covers the full breadth of his compositional activities including pieces for the concert hall, opera, theatre and film. The disc opens with the third movement from Glass' Symphony No. 3, written for strings. It seems an appropriate start for this album given that it was for this piece that Glass first urged Arizcurren to make a version for cello octet, the result of which proved to be the genesis of this entire project. Next up is a rendition of some of the incidental music Glass composed for Samuel Beckett's play Company, which predictably (but by no means disappointingly) is a composition preoccupied with repetition and the relationship between time and narrative all underlined by a weighty melancholy. There are a number of reworked excerpts from Glass' soundtrack to the filmed version of Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, the piece, 'Winnie Goes To Sea' being a particular highlight: its enormously rich, spacious chords punctuated by rather menacing bell chimes. The disc rounds off with the introduction of a vocal ensemble for the freneticism and high bombast of excerpts from the first and third acts of the opera Akhnaten. Highly recommended.