Glass’s “Metamorphosis” remains one of my favourite compositions.
Simple piece of Music based on repetitive motives looped into the five suites suppose to be straight forward to interpreters. As the title seems to suggest the piece is all about changes. Whatever listener would like to visualise himself. The Universe, nature seasons, life cycles ?Like a short film inside the brain one just see dying in the car accident – sort of feeling.
Unlike some really complicated and partially open modern compositions this seems to be pretty obvious. However ,as much as I heard ,no performance was exactly the same. The latest is just love is the one reviewed here from an Italian pianist. My previous reference was from Serbian Branka Paric. Both recorded and issued the same year. Both for very first time performed on the romantic side ,like it never happened before to this music. It would be great to know if Alessandra had ever heard Branka’s version before ? They share a lot if it comes to influence a repertoire and recording selections.
What is probably most touching in her version ,except already mentioned romanticism and so human navigation through this music, is the tempo. I like writing about Glass’s music like about the movies – he was involved in many scores written for the cinema industry. Grammy nominated for at least three. Some of them became already classics today – like famous “Koyaanisqatsi”.
Listening to “Metamorphosis” in this manner pushes you into specific way of thinking about building narration and dynamism of sequences to describe scene or motif. If you thing about original “Cape Fear“ movie for example, as I need something here what lived to see the remake done, and the latest version of the same story? What hits visibly is an action speed. Things tends to speed up during the gap time between both ,and same applies to this music ,or other aspects of life. Twenty years old productions seems to be very old fashioned, too slow, lagging behind today’s generation perception. And as such are exposed to the risk of being forgotten.
Funny thing the memory is. How do you remember your childhood ? Pianist goes through ‘I’ track very quick ,like no one else before. It suits me very well regarding the question.
In a similar fashion, ‘II’ begins where ‘I’ departed. Opening klang appears now as much more colourful repetition – more details and abilities to explore the world ? More mature memories?
‘III’ takes it from there ,swings it ,dances with it – makes it a melody. Brings nostalgia, memories of love ,but also some notes suggesting early disappointment ,regarding to the key I have chosen to describe it.
In ‘IV’ sounds became heavier. Weight is definitely bigger. Attack on the keys and multiplied leitmotif suggesting various feelings , different approach to the same old truths.
Naturally darker key of the closing piece is referring to an elderly age clearly.
Memories are sneaking between the notes here. Repetitive has different shade every time.
Another point of view ? Or maybe another look at something beloved ? Live is never going to be the same any more. The Cadences had changed. A Melody dances ones quick and vigorous, another time again slows down ,until final chord – with short delayed wave like a memory of the single human being.
Tremendous recording of the one of the best “Glass-ian” scores ever. With marvellous piano sound.