Unexpected News: Nico Muhly & Philip Glass
Two world premiere recordings of works by the brilliantNico Muhly are at the heart of this new album by Omega Ensemble, an album that explores the American modern tradition through four remarkable by works by Muhly and the great Philip Glass.
The three Muhly works on this album are incredible examples of his style: wearing their influences proudly, but leaping forward into new modes of musical expression with extraordinary beauty and lush instrumental textures.
Unexpected News , commissioned by Omega Ensemble for this recording, describes a dramatic evening in a relationship, a slow transformation from an oppressive but quiet atmosphere of waiting to the shimmering pleasure of seeing a long-awaited friend to, finally, a luxurious sense of pleasure.
By All Means was commissioned by the Juilliard School and the Royal Academy of Music as a response to Anton Webern’s Concerto for nine instruments, op. 24, where Muhly seeks to turn the Concerto’s concise, severe serialism into thick, rich chords brimming with meaning and profound significance.
Philip Glass’s Sonata for Violin and Piano is in many ways typical of Glass’s writing, with repetitive, locomotive rhythm pulsing with energy. The challenge for any performer of Glass’s works is to sustain the repetition while finding the subtle variations within it – and this recording is blessed to feature Sally Whitwell, a world-renowned performer of Glass’s music. Whitwell has released two albums of Glass’s solo piano music – Mad Rush (winner of the 2011 ARIA Award for Best Classical Album), and the complete etudes for solo piano (nominated for the 2018 ARIA Award) – receiving rave reviews from around the world.
1 MUHLY Unexpected News *
(Commissioned by Omega Ensemble)
2 MUHLY No Uncertain Terms *
3 MUHLY By All Means
4 GLASS Sonata for Violin and Piano
* World premiere recordings