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Philip Glass Metamorphosis One (1989)

Philip Glass – Metamorphosis One (with sheet music)

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Philip Glass

Philip Glass is an Oscar-nominated avant-garde composer whose notable works include ‘Einstein on the Beach,’ ‘The Hours’ and ‘Notes on a Scandal.’

Musician Philip Glass, born on January 31, 1937, in Baltimore, went on to study with Nadia Boulanger and Ravi Shankar, later forming the Philip Glass Ensemble. He received accolades for his debut opera, Einstein on the Beach, and eventually earned Oscar nominations for scoring the films Kundun, The Hours and Notes on a Scandal. Known for his distinctive contemporary minimalism, Glass has worked with artists from a variety of disciplines.  

Background and Education

Philip Glass was born on January 31, 1937, in Baltimore. He took up the violin and flute and began performing before reaching his teens. Glass took classes at the Peabody Institute’s conservatory and later studied at the University of Chicago and The Juilliard School.

Studies With Ravi Shankar

Glass eventually decided to travel to Europe, studying under conductor Nadia Boulanger and sitar musician Ravi Shankar, whom Glass cited as a major influence on his craft. 

Glass adopted an approach to musical composition that relied on repetitive, sometimes subtly nuanced musical structures that would be seen as a cornerstone of contemporary minimalism. (The composer later saw the term “minimalism” as an outdated way of describing his work and the varying sounds of up-and-coming artists.) He formed the electric Philip Glass Ensemble in 1967, an avant-garde group that would continue to earn buzz over the years, if not universal acclaim.

Acclaim for ‘Einstein’

Playwright Robert Wilson worked with the composer to bring Glass’ first opera, Einstein on the Beach, to the stage in 1976. Based on the life of the famed physicist and relying upon an unorthodox, repeating sonic framework, Einstein earned major acclaim. Many more operas were to come from Glass, including 1980’s Satyagraha, which followed a portion of the life of Mahatma Gandhi.

The prolific Glass has composed several symphonies and concertos as well, performing his work internationally as part of his ensemble and having works staged in venues like the London Coliseum, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. His albums include Glassworks (1982), Songs From Liquid Days (1986)—with contributions from David Byrne, Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt and the Kronos Quartet—and Hydrogen Jukebox (1993), among many others. Glass has received an array of honors and has worked with visionaries from various art forms, including singer-songwriter Patti Smith, dancer-choreographer Twyla Tharp and writer Doris Lessing. https://e86d87bb5a9fdef0b9c2d00c33f4487b.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Array of Film Scores

Glass has provided scores for a litany of movies that include the acclaimed Koyaanisqatsi (1982), a project directed byGodfrey Reggio that uses visuals and music to create a story about humanity’s relationship with nature. Other big-screen scores from Glass have included Hamburger Hill (1987), Candyman (1992), The Truman Show (1998), Secret Window (2002), The Illusionist (2006), Leviathan (2014) and Fantastic Four (2015), as well as documentaries like Pandemic: Facing AIDS (2002) and A Sea Change (2009). Glass received Academy Award nominations for the musical scores of Kundun (1997), The Hours (2002) and Notes on a Scandal (2006).

In September 2016, President Barack Obama presented Glass with a National Medal of Arts. At the ceremony, President Obama said Glass was being honored “for his groundbreaking contributions to music and composition,” and described him as “one of the most prolific, inventive, and influential artists of our time, he has expanded musical possibility with his operas, symphonies, film scores, and wide-ranging collaborations.” 

Metamorphosis and his Solo Piano album

Solo Piano (1989) is an album of piano music composed and performed by Philip Glass. It was produced by Kurt Munkacsi.

The title of five of the seven tracks, “Metamorphosis”, refers to and was inspired by the 1915 novella The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. While all pieces were written in 1988, some were written for a staging of Metamorphosis, while others were for the 1988 documentary film The Thin Blue Line directed by Errol Morris. “Mad Rush” was written in 1979 and is based on an earlier organ piece; it has been used by choreographers Lucinda Childs and Benjamin Millepied. The title of the last composition is a reference to Allen Ginsberg‘s 1966 poem “Wichita Vortex Sutra“, and was composed, in collaboration with Ginsberg, for both a reading and recording of the poem.

“Metamorphosis One” is played in an episode of Battlestar Galactica by Kara “Starbuck” Thrace. Within the narrative, her father composed and performed the piece. It is also played in the series finale of Person of Interest, Return 0. “Metamorphosis Two” formed the basis of one of the main musical themes in the film The Hours. It is also the song that the American rock band Pearl Jam uses as their introduction music to concerts. Many pianists have recorded this music subsequently, notably Bruce Brubaker, Sally Whitwell, Lisa Moore, and Valentina Lisitsa.

Inspired by the unprecedented reaction to Einstein, Glass spent the next decade focusing on stage music. There were two follow-up operas – Satyagraha (1980) and Akhnaten (1983) – as well as a series of sparklingly original adaptations of the works of Irish writer and poet Samuel Beckett, which showcased the talents of Mabou Mines, a virtuoso group Glass had helped set up in the early 1970s.

By now he had achieved the kind of cult following normally associated with pop stars. His new-found celebrity status was confirmed when he was signed exclusively by record label CBS Masterworks (later Sony Classical), an accolade only previously awarded to two other giants of 20th-century music: Igor Stravinsky and Aaron Copland.

Glass’s first album for CBS, Glassworks, shifted 250,000 copies in its first year – something almost unheard of for a contemporary “classical” composer. Yet despite all the acclaim and material rewards, Glass kept his feet firmly on the ground, determined to remain true to his creative vision rather than composing music for the masses.

“I’m very pleased with it,” he quietly enthused. “The pieces seem to have an emotional quality that everyone responds to, and they also work very well as performance pieces.”

Never one to rest on his laurels, Glass felt ready, by the late 1980s, to tackle the kind of mainstream instrumental genres that had felt so unnatural during his student years.

Widely celebrated for the supreme concentration of his musical thought, he began expanding into the expressive opulence of the concerto and symphony. In 1987, he produced a Violin Concerto that at times appears to hark back to the 18th- and 19th-century traditions that Glass had so studiously avoided earlier in life.

“The search for the unique can lead to strange places,” Glass reasoned at the time. “Taboos – the things we’re not supposed to do – are often the more interesting.”

Glass’s terms of stylistic reference were broadened further still when he turned “crossover” with a pair of symphonies that synthesised classical and rock as though it was the most natural thing in the world. Inspired by the music of David Bowie and Brian Eno, Glass hit the headlines with his Low Symphony No.1 (1992) and “Heroes” Symphony No.4 (1996).

He later explained: “My approach was to treat the themes very much as if they were my own and allow their transformations to follow my own compositional bent when possible.”

Bowie gave the results his seal of approval with the immortal expression, emblazoned on countless T-shirts ever since: “Philip Glass rocks my ass”.

Glass continued his revitalisation of traditional classical genres with a series of five string quartets composed for the Kronos Quartet and a Third Symphony (1995) in which the terms of stylistic reference range from Haydn to Ravel.

Another feature of this period was a new interest in solo piano music, which expressed itself most notably, perhaps, in Metamorphosis (1988), an unusually melodious work that takes its name from a play based on a short story by Kafka.

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Wave – Vou Te Contar Jobim (guitar) with sheet music

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Wave – Vou Te Contar Jobim (guitar) with sheet music

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TOM JOBIM

Brazilian songwriter and vocalist Antonio Carlos Jobim (1927–1994) was one of the creators of the subtle, whispery, jazz-influenced popular song style known as bossa nova. He has been widely acclaimed as one of Brazil’s greatest and most innovative musicians of the twentieth century.

Jobim’s place in the annals of popular music was secured by a single hit song, “The Girl from Ipanema” (1964), which he co-wrote with lyricist Vinícius de Moraes. His creative contributions to jazz, however, went much deeper; many of his songs became jazz standards, and, in the words of Richard S. Ginell of the All Music Guide , “Every other set” performed in jazz clubs “seems to contain at least one bossa nova.”

Jobim was sometimes called the George Gershwin of Brazil, not so much because of any musical or lyric similarity—Jobim’s songs tended to have oblique, often poetic lyrics quite unlike the clever romantic rhymes of George Gershwin’s brother Ira—but because his music became the bedrock for the work of jazz musicians for decades after its creation.

Studied with German Music Teacher

Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim, often known by the nickname Tom, was born in Rio de Janeiro on January 25, 1927. He grew up in the seaside southern Rio suburb of Ipanema, later the setting for his most famous song, and many of his compositions reflected Brazil’s lush natural world in one way or another. Both of Jobim’s parents were educators, and his father, Jorge Jobim, was also active as a diplomat.

But Jobim took after an uncle who played classical guitar, and he soon showed unusual talent of his own. Jobim’s mother, Nilza, rented a piano for the family home, and when Jobim was 14 he began piano lessons with Hans Joachim Koellrutter, a local music scholar of German background who favored the latest experimental trends in European classical music.

Jobim would later point to the influence exerted by French Impressionist composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel on his own music, but a new set of influences was on its way to Brazil in the form of American jazz. Jobim enrolled in architecture school, lasted less than a year, and worked as an assistant to a local architect in the early 1940s.

His real energies were directed toward music, as he gained experience playing piano in small nightclubs known as inferninhos , or little infernos. Visits to Rio by the Duke Ellington Orchestra and other American jazz bands shaped Jobim’s own attempts at composition (which he buried in a drawer at first) and inspired him to settle on a musical career. In 1949 he married his first wife, Thereza Hermanny; they raised a son, Paulo, and a daughter, Elisabeth.

With his well-rounded musical education, by the early 1950s Jobim was able to graduate from Rio’s bars to staff arranging positions with the Continental and Odeon record labels. At this point Jobim was working in the genre of samba, Brazil’s national pop song style, and he sometimes performed his own samba compositions.

His real breakthrough came about in 1956, as the result of a chance meeting two years earlier with Brazilian playwright Vinícius de Moraes. Moraes was working on a play called Orfeu da Conceicção , which was later filmed as Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus). The play and film transferred the classic Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to modern-day Rio de Janeiro, and Moraes suggested that Jobim write the music for it.

The film Orfeu Negro became an international success, and Jobim’s score, featuring guitarist Luiz Bonfá, kicked off a new musical craze that quickly spread beyond Brazil. It was based in samba rhythms, but it featured subtle harmonic shadings drawn from jazz.

The new style was given the name bossa nova, meaning “new wave,” and the 1958 single “Chega de Saudade” (No More Blues), with music by Jobim, words by Moraes, and guitar by future Brazilian pop star João Gilberto, was the style’s first major hit. Both “Chega de Saudade” and the flip side of the original single, Jobim’s composition “Desafinado” (Out of Tune), have remained jazz standards.

Performed in New York

Jobim’s star rose quickly in Brazil after the release of “Chega de Saudade.” He continued to record with Gilberto, began hosting a weekly television show called O Bom Tom , and wrote music in which he drew on his classical background for the soundtrack to a film called Por Toda a Minha Vida and (with Moraes) Brasîlia, Sinfonia da Alvorada , a four-movement orchestral work with text.

By 1962 American jazz musicians had begun to immerse themselves in bossa nova. Jobim sang his “Samba de uma nota só” (One-Note Samba) on an album by Gilberto and jazz flutist Herbie Mann. The bossa nova phenomenon reached the United States as saxophonist Stan Getz and guitarist Charlie Byrd recorded their successful Jazz Samba album, and in November of 1962 Jobim and other Brazilian musicians performed a major bossa nova concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall. The show was the idea of a Brazilian diplomat who wanted to promote the country’s musical accomplishments abroad.

The concert initially seemed to be a flop. The Brazilian players were thrown off their stride by New York’s miserable late fall weather, and critics panned the show. Jobim and his compatriots also took criticism from Brazilian observers who felt they were diluting Brazilian music by singing songs in English—Jobim, who spoke several languages, sometimes translated his own songs from Portuguese into English, while others were translated by jazz writer Gene Lees. Nevertheless, the Carnegie Hall concert succeeded in exposing Jobim to American musicians and music industry figures.

Jobim recognized the importance of American exposure in broadening the reach of his music, and he quipped that if he had remained in Brazil, he would still just be drinking beer in Rio’s corner bars. In 1963 he made his U.S. recording debut on the Verve label with The Composer of Desafinado Plays.

Jobim followed up that release with several more albums in a smooth jazz vein. He collaborated with one of his most influential American admirers on a successful 1966 release, Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim , which was seldom if ever out of print during the next four decades. Jobim sang, played piano, and occasionally strummed a guitar on these recordings, often backed by a small orchestra.

In 1962 Jobim composed a song that was soon to become a worldwide phenomenon, and in the process he added a phrase to the international lexicon. “The Girl from Ipanema” (in Portuguese, “Garota de Ipanema”) was written as Jobim and Moraes were sitting at a table in a bar in Jobim’s hometown of Ipanema and became infatuated with a passer-by, the “tall and tan and young and lovely” woman described in the song. With a vocal by Gilberto’s wife, Astrud, and a verse of English lyrics, the song became a number-two hit in the United States in 1964, eclipsed only by the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night.”

Jobim prospered, although he was never canny about the music publishing deals he signed, and he often failed to receive a proper share of the money his songs earned.

Jobim’s total output of albums was not large (he recorded ten solo albums, plus nine more with collaborators), but his music remained consistently successful through much of the 1960s.

Nothing else became a hit on the scale of “The Girl from Ipanema,” but such songs as “Wave,” “Insensatez” (How Insensitive), and “Meditation,” with vocals by Jobim himself, Astrud Gilberto, or other singers, became part of the record collections of many sophisticates, and were internalized by jazz musicians as quickly as they appeared. Jobim maintained a strong following in Brazil, thanks to duets recorded with female vocalist Elis Regina, and his 1968 album A Certain Mr. Jobim reached the top 15 on Billboard magazine’s jazz sales chart in the United States.

Branched Out Beyond Bossa Nova

Jobim’s popularity dipped in the 1970s as bossa nova finally ran out of steam commercially, but he never really slowed down creatively. One of his most widely covered songs of the decade was 1972’s “Aguas de Março,” which Jobim himself translated into English (with added lyrics) as “Waters of March”; the English version almost completely avoided words with roots in Romance languages (such as Portuguese) in favor of those of Germanic origin. The lyrics consisted of a seemingly disconnected series of images that suggested the impermanence of life.

The influential jazz critic Leonard Feather, according to Mark Holston of Americas , placed “Waters of March” “among the top ten songs of all time.” Jobim recorded with Brazilian-born arranger Eumir Deodato on his Stone Flower album of 1970, and he also often worked with German-born arranger Claus Ogerman. Jobim’s 1975 album Urubu (meaning “The Vulture”) reflected his personal fascination with that bird of prey.

In 1976 Jobim met 19-year-old photographer Ana Beatriz Lontra; the pair had a son, João Francisco, in 1979, married in 1986, and had a daughter, Maria Luiza Helena, in 1987. In the late 1970s Jobim was active mostly in film soundtracks, but in 1984 he assembled his Nova Banda or New Band, with his son Paulo on guitar, and began touring once again.

His concerts in the United States in the mid-1980s were in venues with the highest profiles: Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, and Constitution Hall in Washington. His 1987 release Passarim was as well received in the jazz community as any of his 1960s releases had been, and selections from it appeared on several posthumous collections of his work.

Critics by this time recognized Jobim as a living legend, and he received various awards of national and international scope in the last years of his life. These included the Diploma of Honor, the highest arts award given by the Organization of American States, which he received in 1988, and induction into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 1991.

Jobim never rested on his laurels, and he entered the mid-1990s with a full plate of creative projects. He worked with classical conductor Ettore Stratta in preparing recordings of some of his more classical-oriented works, and he planned to record an album with opera star Kathleen Battle. In 1994 Jobim released a new album, Antonio Brasileiro , and rejoined Frank Sinatra for a track on Sinatra’s Duets II release.

With these career capstones in the works, it came as a shock for Jobim’s admirers in both the United States and Brazil when Jobim died suddenly of heart failure at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital on December 8, 1994, shortly after entering the facility for treatment of cardiac disease. Jobim’s body was returned to Brazil, where a funeral parade held in his honor in Rio de Janeiro lasted for four hours, and he was buried in a tomb near that of Vinícius de Moraes, who had died in 1980. The pair had created two of the icons of twentieth-century culture, Black Orpheus and “The Girl from Ipanema,” and the music that came from Jobim’s pen lent the music of much of the century’s second half a distinct Brazilian tinge.

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Beethoven Piano Sonata No 8 “Pathétique” Op 13 1st Movement with sheet music

Beethoven Piano Sonata No 8 “Pathétique” Op 13 1st Movement with sheet music

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Pathétique Sonata,

byname of Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 13, sonata for piano and orchestra by Ludwig van Beethoven, published in 1799.

Unlike most of the nicknames given to Beethoven’s works, Pathétique is believed to have been picked by the composer himself to convey the romantic and even sorrowful mood of the sonata. The first movement begins with a dark and dramatic introduction before assuming the brisk, nearly frenetic motion of the traditional sonata form. The second movement is gentle, with a central theme that gradually evolves as new melodies derived from fragments of the original are introduced. In the final movement Beethoven offers a tempestuous rondo.

The sonata provides a notable early example of Beethoven’s experimentation with the dramatic potential of the key of C minor, which he would later choose for his well-known Symphony No. 5.

Tonality and influences

Beethoven did not pick C minor arbitrarily as the key center for the first movement. It has a long-standing association with the tragic temperament, dating from the pre-Baroque. For Beethoven, C minor was the key
of choice for funeral marches (for example the slow movement of the Eroica Symphony) and for relentless, agitated music. He was greatly impressed by Mozart’s C minor Piano Concerto, No. 24, K491, and there
are echoes of the unsettled mood of that piece as well as the final tragic moments from Don Giovanni in the Pathétique. Around the same time as writing the Sonata, he had embarked on the String Quartet, Op. 18 No. 4,
also in C minor. It makes for interesting comparative listening (see Spotify playlist).

Other precedents in a similar tragic mode are:
„„ Bach’s Partita for keyboard in C minor
„„ Mozart’s Fantasia in C minor, K475
„„ Beethoven’s own ‘Electoral’ Sonata No. 2 in F minor

The Pathétique may indeed borrow certain features from all the above, whether the ornate introduction or a more general reflection of mood, but it also set a new benchmark for writing in the tragic style.

Download Beethoven’s sheet music from our Library.

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Schubert Piano Sonata in B flat Major, D 960 – Kovacevich, piano with sheet music

Schubert Piano Sonata in B flat Major, D 960 – Kovacevich, piano with sheet music

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