Brown, Ashley

Arr. of Philip Glass’ Mishima for Piano Trio (2018), c. 3′

Composer Notes

Philip Glass (USA; b. 1937): String Quartet No.3 (Mishima), c. 3’
vi. Mishima/Closing

Arranged for piano trio, this 6th and final movement from Glass’s String Quartet No. 3 is a tribute to Yukio Mishima – a deeply loved figure in his native Japan, and an important figure in the world. Poet, playwright, actor, director and author of over 30 novels, he was also a militant nationalist who on 25 November, 1970, plunged a dagger into his abdomen in a ritual act of Seppuku, despairing at the loss of Japan’s dignity in the Second World War and having failed in his attempt at a coup d’etat. This music comes from the Paul Schrader movie Mishima, A Life in Four Chapters: “The value of a man appears in the moment in which life confronts death”.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Glass studied at the University of Chicago, the Juilliard School and in Aspen with Darius Milhaud before heading to Europe in search of new sounds. He joins ranks with Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson and Quincy Jones as understudies of the legendary pedagogue Nadia Boulanger and worked closely with composer Ravi Shankar. He returned to New York in 1967 where he formed the Philip Glass Ensemble. Glass prefers ‘repetitive structures’ over the often-used term ‘minimalism’ when describing his musical style. His vast body of work encompasses ensemble work, ten symphonies, more than twenty operas, two piano concertos, a wide range of film soundtracks and animation (Fantasia), popular music, and a growing body of work for solo piano and organ. He has collaborated with artists such as Twyla Tharp, Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen, Linda Ronstadt, Yo-Yo Ma, Paul Simon and David Bowie.

 

Programme note by Charlotte Wilson

 

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