March 27, 2008

Philip Glass - The Hours

Artist: Philip Glass
Album: The Hours
Year: 2002

"The Hours" is a compelling drama involving the lives of three women in three cities in three decades.Their stories are interwoven exquisitely, and arch together in a profound, moving fashion. It is the best film of 2002.
Philip Glass is one of the leading composers working in the minimalist idiom. He has scored a number of films, most of them art films (with some exceptions like Candyman). The vast majority of his compositions take patience that most don't have; the subtlety of his music tends to escape one if one isn't focused entirely on the music's flow. The score to The Hours is different. It is still repetitive in its way and it has all the hallmarks of Glass' style, most notably the arpeggiated "melodic" lines and a dark, brooding stone. However, there is more variety in this score than in most of Glass' other music, and this makes it much more easily accesible than, say, Einstein on the Beach. The conciseness of each small vignette makes this album easy to listen to, and the treatment of the piano lines make the music ache with beauty.This album can be described as peaceful, but at the same time, there's an underlying current that keeps you on edge.

I highly recommend this soundtrack as an opening to Glass' work and as an emotional experience. It may take some patience that other forms of classical music don't, but if you can fit yourself inside the repetition it is one of the most rewarding albums you'll ever listen to.


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