Phillip Glass No. 1?

September 21, 2017, 6:29 PM · Hi there,

So I have always been wanting to play the Phillip Glass violin concerto number one. But I've always questioned what a player needs to have accomplished before attempting this piece. Are there any pieces that you recommend to play before attempting the concerto itself? Any specific skills that need to be mastered?

Thanks :)

Replies (16)

September 22, 2017, 5:25 PM · That isn't the one where everyone has to keep silent for 4'33", is it?
September 22, 2017, 7:41 PM · No, that's John Cage's 4'33"
September 22, 2017, 10:24 PM · I would imagine the number one skill is a very high tolerance for repetition and tedium.
September 23, 2017, 5:52 AM · @Jacob, thank you, I stand corrected - can't keep up with these modern composers y'know!
September 23, 2017, 6:07 AM · Is there a recording out there someone can recommend?
September 23, 2017, 7:24 AM · I just listened to a version available on spotify, a rather poorly played recording where you can barely hear when a half tone changes in the arpeggio of the solist, but anyway. I think there is no big preperation needed, it has etude structure from itself. Find the fingering and be able to hold the bow at a good soundingpoint when going over all 4 strings. Not much more to do imho. As it repeats everything you got a good learning structure without doing much.
Edited: September 23, 2017, 1:02 PM · You need to look no further than YouTube for the many recordings on video, both live and copied from disc. I note in particular,

Gidon Kremer on,

A rolling score on screen:
1st mvt
2nd mvt
3rd mvt

Edited: September 25, 2017, 6:28 AM · I've listened to it, and ain't sayin' nuttin' except that Mary Ellen has made a very pertinent observation.
September 23, 2017, 4:25 PM · Thank you everyone! I will take your responses into consideration before I start playing the piece.
September 25, 2017, 8:36 AM · I love this concerto (and Glass generally) - so I wouldn't agree that you need "tolerance for tedium" - but like many modernist composers, Glass needs a different approach to musicality than you need if you're blasting out a Romantic concerto.

(Sometimes I get the feeling that full-on romantic blasting is the only kind of performance that gets highly rated in these forums ... people slagging off Glass, people slagging off historically informed performance.... ;) )

Edited: September 25, 2017, 10:10 AM · There is at least the same amount of people slagging romantic concertos and playing style (modern romantic, not that it actaully got played this way when it was written).
You will also hear a lot of positiv oppinions on Schostakowich and such, way beyond romantic.
I dont think you can actually compare the musical depth to those main concertos with this one here. Of course there is room for this kind of music, but it is a bit simplier than the preparation needed for Tchaikowsky for example, and thats not only because its easier to play technically but also way easier to understand.
This one, like many other modern ones, feels like a modern baroque concerto to me. If Vivaldi would still write concertos and be looking to please the masses, it might sound like this.
September 25, 2017, 11:54 AM · I have played Glass orchestral works. I could never play another Glass work again and die happy. I stand by my "tedium" remarks.
September 25, 2017, 2:18 PM · I also like this concerto. Philip Glass once said "I don't understand why some people say my music is repetitive---it actually changes the whole time" and I agree, it is also the case with this concerto. the tempo is very brisk, the bowing is not easy, to make this concerto sound really well, articulated, clear, musical, at tempo, you have to be a rock solid soloist.
September 25, 2017, 9:59 PM · What ie not easy about the bowing in this piece?
September 26, 2017, 2:01 AM · So what you're really saying, Mary-Ellen, is that you really want THIS for your birthday? ;)

September 26, 2017, 7:01 AM · hahaha


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