PHILIP GLASS "Low" Symphony (Point Music)
Was I the only one of us shocked and delighted to note that Philip Glass has obtained a sufficient level of fame to be cruelly (but accurately) parodied on "South Park"? This, his 1994 setting of three instrumentals from David Bowie's fabulous "Low" album, is possibly his greatest achievement, because of, rather than despite, the fact that it moves furthest from the pulsing repetition with which he carved his reputation through such stamina-sapping (both for listeners and performers) works as "Music With Changing Parts" and "Music In Twelve Parts".
""Low" Symphony" is a far more organic work, underlined by the fact that it's performed here by The Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra rather than his own precision-drilled ensemble. Taking the music of Bowie and Eno as a starting point, Glass fashions huge, crashing waves of orchestration that alternate with moments of gorgeous pastoral melancholy. The most lucid description I can tag it with is Gorecki's Third Symphony gone free jazz, which, as I'm sure you'll agree, isn't particularly helpful. But if you're an admirer of either the source material or Philip Glass' more traditional (or should that be non-traditional?) music you'll appreciate how both have been opened out here.