Music in the Neighborhood

This episode originally aired on September 29, 2012

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Buildings in Soho. Buildings in Soho. (Jenchapter3/flickr)

One of the nice things about having the WQXR studios in Soho is access to a number of artists living in the area. Phillip Glass is not far away. His opera ‘Einstein on the Beach’ was presented at BAM in the last year. Before its opening, Glass and his ensemble came into The Greene Space, where he talked about his early career as a New York pianist and about his breakthrough moment as a composer.

We’ hear Glass's comments as well as music by Wagner, David Lang and reflections on the concept of “"Angel”" from Marcus Roberts and Gavin Bryars.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.

Comments [2]

Hey Joan, you gave me a good laugh, and I needed it.

Look, Mr. Glass has some compelling aspects to his music, and some annoying aspects also, but I guess I could say the same of Wagner. So we go with whatever has an element of charm or curiosity and leave behind the rest.

Having stated such a dull cliche, I will say that there are quite a few young and interesting composers who do not get a second hearing because they are not 'brand products'. They do not have some sort of Good Seal of Approval from whomever runs the classical music scene and pushes some performers forward, and leaves others to oblivion. And I have not entirely figured out who 'runs' this 'classical' music scene (in this country, anyway) but it is not governed by The Public. Perhaps it is a loose and uncoordinated coalition of concert promoters, media agents, and other assorted non-musical business types whose interests are purely based on what they think other people will perceive as trendy.

So, Joan, I do not disagree with one word you have written, even though occasional I find some portion of Mr. Glass's work of passing interest (or not), but the bottom line is: we did not ask for it, but it is being shoveled at us anyway.

Jun. 23 2013 12:09 AM
Joan Rosenfelt from Boondox of Sullivan County, NY

I don't care how famous Phillip Glass is - or anyone else - and how many awards he's won - and how many people think he's a genious, etc., etc. - That electronic repetitive, non-resolving, constantly drumming - endlessly drumming - mindless music is UNTENNABLE. You absolutely offend me to the core when you stop playing beautiful music and put that atrocious NOISE on the air in its place!
I've written this before - and it still stands. That stuff is GOD-AWFUL!!! - (to quote my late father.)
PLEASE - SPARE ME!!! - TRY NOT TO PLAY THAT ABOMINABLE, INDESCRIBABLY ANNOYING SO-CALLED MUSIC!!!! It is NOT AMUSING OR ENJOYABLE OR EVEN ACTUALLY MUSIC. It's just over-intellectualized NOISE.
Joan Rosenfelt
Constant listener - until you play that dreadful stuff - then I turn you off and that's IT for the night!!! (Ach! Shudder! - I need to recover from the assault to my sensibilities!!!)
Pond Eddy, NY

Jun. 22 2013 11:00 PM

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