If you’ve never seen Glass play his own music, there have been—and will continue to be—a great number of opportunities during this, his 75th birthday year. (But this one is the cheapest!) Even if you have seen Glass perform his music before, this particular concert is one to strongly consider catching. Right now, the composer sounds, well, pretty damn good.
“It's very simple: you do the first premiere of an opera, and basically no one will touch it for eight or nine years,” Glass said. “If an opera house is going invest in a new opera and take the risk, they won’t do it unless it's a world premiere. So there’s a 10-year lag between the first production and the second. And then after that, the distinctions don't matter anymore.” If this schedule holds, it will mean that a new raft of Glass operas may come online in the next decade.(1)
A crowded schedule that's worth the effort, from Anthony Braxton to Portishead to Anna Netrebko to Philip Glass
There’s too much to hear: that’s the first empirical fact to absorb about the coming music season in New York. From a consumer perspective the problem is compounded by the amount of effort it can take to see just the best stuff: tickets purchased online weeks or months in advance, forcing you to tick a date on the calendar when you really have no idea what work will have in store for you that day; or else the intellectual endurance required while trekking to the same venue over the course of multiple nights to see a single cycle of performances. Who has the time to plan for such extravagances, let alone commit them?
It's as if everyone’s made the decision that nothing can be excluded from the tradition of so-called "serious music" if it is to survive at all. The more that pop steals everything from experimenters at the margins—as the Beatles did with Stockhausen, and as Kanye does in the three-minute electro-acoustic outro of "Runaway"—the more enthusiastically the margin has to appreciate itself and heal up its divisions, or else perish. More and more, it seems quite possible that this state of affairs can be, at once, the reflection of a sad reality as well as a really ripping opportunity to be a music fiend in the city.