Phillip Glass

Symphony No. 3 (mov't 3)

            Gustav Mahler famously observed, “ A symphony must be like the world.  It must contain everything.”  On the whole this is manifestly not true of Glass’s symphonies, but in a very useful sense it seems to apply to the man, himself.  If a composer may play the rôle of America’s foremost public intellectual in the arts, there is arguably no stronger candidate than Phillip Glass.  For the past half century or so, he has helped shape much of the direction of new and innovative music with his unique approach to composition, his thoughtful and deep exploration of æsthetic principles, and his prolific interaction with leading artists the world over in cinema, the theatre, the visual arts, poetry, dance, and of course, music.  Both adored and “reviled,” he has been drawn to the expre