Critics Award of the Day (CAD): Alex Ross on Philip Glass

OMG. A. Ro. is for real. Check out his “endless” article on Philip Glass in this week’s New Yorker. (We know it’s been out for a few day’s now.)

He’s pretty fair in his assessment of Glass’ repetitatious (we just made up that word) music, which was awesome in The Hours, not so awesome in Notes on a Scandal, is great in those Amex commericials (we think that’s him), and is so often boring live.

But Ross gives this keen observation about the opening seconds of experiencing a new Philip Glass offering:

To encounter a new Glass work these days is to pass through a familiar sequence of emotions. More often than not, you start with a disappointed sense of déjà vu: a rapid onset of churning arpeggios and chugging minor-key progressions dashes any hope that the composer may have struck off in a startling new direction.

OMG. Alex, when are you going to spend some time with C.C.? You’re like a super genius and we could totally be best friends. And maybe more. Who knows. We’re open to getting to know you is all we’re saying. Maybe it could start as simple as a coffee in a public place some Saturday afternoon. Then, you know, if the chemistry is there and we feel like taking things to the next level, we can negotiate that. You should know, however, that we sleep on the right side of the bed and we’re allergic to cats. Just an FYI.



  1. Phillip Glass “classical” music and operas should be forgotten – boring repetitiveness, very little creativity, no true beauty or good energy like in the true classics. Won’t anyone have the guts to say – about his so-called classic works – “The emperor has no clothes”? Shame on those who compare him to Wagner!

  2. Hey Isaak-

    In a way, I totally agree with you. The wide success of Glass’s music, in all areas of our culture, has opened a window for a lot of music that seems…how to phrase this…to aim outside the realm of the kind of musical integrity I expect when I go to the concert hall.

    That said, I feel Glass’ importance and influence as a composer is on pretty secure ground. And it’s hard to deny something that has been so influential. AND, I found Satyagraha to be fresh and interesting, until, that is, I realized he cut and pasted this music into “The Hours,” at which point, nothing could reconstitute the spell the music had placed on my attention.

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