Glass - Venezuelan Elegy | Orange Mountain Music OMM0142

Glass - Venezuelan Elegy


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Label: Orange Mountain Music

Cat No: OMM0142

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 20th December 2019



Born from a meeting that happened between Philip Glass and flautist James Strauss in 2011, Venezuelan Elegy is a celebration of music, of collaboration, and the triumph of the artistic sprit while the tragedy of world events as they unfold around artists creating it.

When meeting Strauss in 2011, Glass encouraged him to arrange his music for flute and chamber orchestra. Despite being a flautist by training, and playing flute himself until the age of 30, Glass has not written extensively for “his” instrument. For Strauss, this has always been a frustrating situation since he wanted to perform Glass’s music with orchestras. So Strauss set about arranging Glass’s music for flute an ensemble including two major works: a large suite from Glass’s opera Orphée, Glass’s Violin Concerto no.1, as well as selections from Metamorphosis, The Hours, and Glassworks.

Despite the title, Venezuelan Elegy is not a sombre album at all. It’s a boisterous celebration of music and life. Glass spent many summers in South America and not a year has gone by that he doesn’t visit. Starting in 2016, Strauss moved to Venezuela right at the time that political troubles were coming to a head. He had great collaborations with the young musicians who are still emerging from the El Sistema music programme there. With political conditions deteriorating, Strauss viewed this recording as a chance to get some money and work to these great musicians who found themselves in the middle of a collapse of the Venezuelan system.

The result is a beautiful album full of love, hope, and pathos. Performed by James Strauss and the Camerata Simon Bolivar under the direction of Alfonso Lopez Ch.

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