Philip Glass: Escape
Philip Glass hasn’t written any original works for the guitar. Yet on Escape, Welsh guitarist Gerard Cousins’ deft arrangements of the composer’s piano and orchestral works show just how suitable his music is for the instrument. Indeed, here, the guitar lends a new intensity to many of Glass’ pieces. Its intimate tones add to the hypnotic power of “Metamorphosis 3”, while the short burst of energy in “Escape!”—from Glass’ Oscar-nominated, BAFTA-winning score to the 2002 film The Hours—feels all the more urgent under Cousins’ fingers. Meanwhile, “Knee Play 2”—from the composer’s opera Einstein on the Beach—is a frenetic tour de force, performed with a stunning, unrestrained virtuosity that harnesses the raw power of the original. Finally, The Truman Show’s “Truman Sleeps” provides a beautiful conclusion. This is a fascinating album that thrillingly captures all of Glass’ technical and musical intricacies.