As part of Philip Glass’ 75th birthday year in 2012, I composed a Rhapsody for the New York Philharmonic, for a gala honouring his music, by new composers influenced by his work. The approximately 8-minute piece is scored for full orchestra and solo piano.
I began by taking a 3-chord “theme”, from his wonderful score from the film “Koyaaniqatsi”, which had a profound influence on me as a young musician. After an initial statement of this very simplistic theme, the piece dives into a set of 3 variations:
Los Angeles (0:20):
The first variation recalls the style of some of Glass’ early movie soundtracks, using simple repetition and rhythm to generate energy.
The second variation starts with a Bodhran (a traditional Irish tuned drum), inverts the chord progression, and builds a folk-tune melody of running triplets that moves through the entire orchestra.
New York (5:20):
After a brief return to the original theme, the final variation pays homage to Glass’ adopted home city and it’s Jazz heritage. It begins with a piano solo, grows to include the entire orchestra and includes a clarinet reference to Ira Gershwin’s own Rhapsody, and a boisterous finale.
Listen to Rhapsody on a Theme by Philip Glass
Get the Score
Use the Contact link at the top of the page, to contact me and request the score for your orchestra! Includes all parts and conductor’s score, with comprehensive performance notes.