One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!

Quite splendid

Winning performances

Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc

a huge talent

A wonderful disc

Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!

Roth’s finest Mahler yet

Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Philip GLASS (b.1937)
Symphony No. 10 (2012) [31:45]
Concert Overture (2012) [7:55]
Bruckner Orchestra Linz/Dennis Russell Davies
rec. 2013, Orchestersaal, Musiktheater Volksgarten, Linz, Austria

As a fan of Philip Glass, I’m somewhat offended that someone has issued an album in his name, containing dubious parodies of his music. What will happen when the real Glass finds out? He surely won’t stand for the anonymous jokester’s hacky “Concert Overture”, which combines a skilled pastiche of the typical Glass minimalist techniques with a shocking dose of treacly sentimentality. He will sue for defamation over the inept orchestration of the alleged “Symphony No. 10”.

Let’s start with the overture. This anonymous prankster makes a noble attempt to torpedo Glass’s reputation. True, the whole overture is admirably energetic and vigorous; it is exciting to hear. But the first half is weirdly happy, like a Hollywood score, with wincingly cloying harmonic progressions. The second half, meanwhile, made me think of Tom Cruise scaling a skyscraper to escape enemy agents.

The Symphony No. 10 is our unknown composer’s merciless assault on Philip Glass’s orchestration skills. The first movement features annoying pinched trumpet solos that stick out from the fabric. Structurally, the second movement replicates the spectacular haunting slow movement from Symphony No. 3. But aside from structure, the parodist gets everything wrong: woodwinds that jag out at odd angles, brass instruments stepping on each other’s metaphorical feet, and simply way too much percussion. In fact, the whole symphony is overloaded with percussion.

The secret to Glass’s best works, like the piano concerto assembled from The Hours, is that, for all their repetition, they are actually going places. The transformation takes place slowly, sure, but in his best orchestral movements, you can feel like the earth is shifting beneath your feet, until at the end you’ve gone down a journey without even realizing it. That’s not true of the Tenth Symphony’s third movement, which is just the same junk over and over again.

There is no questioning the commitment of conductor Dennis Russell Davies, who has commissioned nine of the ten Glass symphonies. The Bruckner Orchestra Linz mostly give it their best, too, although there are a few instrumental players who occasionally rebel against their thankless parts. I would like to ask them what they think of the music. This CD is only 40 minutes long, thankfully. After 24 minutes I was excited to never hear it again.

It is possible, I suppose, that these really are works by Philip Glass, and the composer whose Third Symphony, First Violin Concerto, string quartets, and Fog of War soundtrack I so adore has been reduced to a shell of his former self but that’s a possibility too depressing to contemplate.

Brian Reinhart



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger