Philip Glass: Mad Rush Lisa Moore Orange Mountain
Festival directors love composer-pianists. Punters go in droves, expecting the contemporary equivalents of Liszt, Chopin or Rachmaninov. Mostly, they leave disappointed. How fortunate is Philip Glass in having pianist Lisa Moore as an advocate of his music. Australian-born, but long-time resident of New York, she brings to his familiar patterns and roulades the technique and sensitivity of the consummate professional. Moore bestows new insights on those fragile patterns through subtle gradations of dynamics, slight pulling back of tempo and clearly defined cross-rhythms of superimposed layers. All emerge with nearperfect clarity on a close-miked Steinway CD-79 piano, but sounding a little thin at both ends of the keyboard. Moore drills into the working apparatuses of Glass’s processes and makes them sound fresh and unremarkable. They no longer sound like improvisations, no matter how controlled and contrived they may seem. Forty years after the first appearance of Einstein on the Beach, Glass’s processes have passed into the lingua franca of contemporary music. In Moore’s muscular hands and eloquent fingers, this music becomes poetry, finely nuanced, at times even thrilling.