Philip Glass' Heroes Symphony has led an interesting double life as an abstract concert work and as a ballet, perhaps because its suite-like form and sectional scheme allow for such a transition. It would not be difficult to imagine this evocative music also serving as a soundtrack, much like Glass' Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi, since its progression from one plateau to the next, without transitions or trajectory, is similar to those scores. Heroes is not a symphony in the strictest sense because its six movements do not follow the form's conventions, nor do they involve development. Yet as a sophisticated example of "symphonic rock," based as it is on the songs of David Bowie and Brian Eno, Heroes breaks new ground as a hybrid ofRead more popular music and accessible minimalism and may point to new possibilities for orchestral works of the future. Low Symphony, also derived from songs by Bowie and Eno, is closer to symphonic norms since its three movements are cast in longer molds and its themes are developed rather fluidly and expansively, albeit within the tonal confines of Glass' minimalism. Dennis Russell Davies leads the American Composers Orchestra in Heroes and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra in Low, producing two brilliant performances that make a good pair.
-- Blair Sanderson, AllMusic.com reviewing Heroes Symphony and Low Symphony, previously reissued together as Philips 475075 Read less
Works on This Recording
Heroes Symphonyby Philip Glass
Dennis Russell Davies
American Composers Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1996; USA Venue: Looking Glass Studios, New York City Length: 43 Minutes 53 Secs.