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Introduction to Philip Glass' "Harmonium Mountain"

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  • leafers seed style avatar for user aristig007
    what does exactly mean minimalist in music? lesser variations, lesser themes,lesser melodies, lesser instruments? In a piece like this I find the word minimalist not really right or descriptive of what the music is and conveys.
    (9 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user epp
    Philip Glass' music is beautiful! I would like to know who else, other than him (and Steve Reich mentioned in the reply below) has composed minimalist music?
    (7 votes)
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Video transcript

- Our next work is Harmonium Mountain by Philip Glass. Philip is maybe the most famous living composer today. (dramatic orchestral music) He's written concertos. He's written symphonies. He's written operas. He's written music for the film. If you talk to anyone involved in the visual arts and you ask them about modern music, the name Philip Glass will come up because he is so attached to so many great American artists. This piece is no different. It was commissioned by Agnes Gund and Charles Simonyi. - It was used for a friend of mine's video on using, that's an artist, Clifford Ross, and using all these color panels coming together. (dramatic orchestral music) It's just wonderful how well it works as a modern piece, but how much I feel like it is just as good as music with this modern artist's work as if it were an old master, having that juxtaposition. It's enhancing on both sides. - We call it minimalist because the material seems to be minimal at first, but with the layering and the subtlety of the work, there's a lot more going on. I mean, this particular piece starts just with the cellos and the violins playing... (repeating notes on piano) I mean, pretty simple. And then the cellos keep going and the violins change it to... (repeating notes on piano) Again, just a little subtlety. (dramatic orchestral music) It's a little piece of genius. Fascinating, charming, interesting, and absolutely marvelous. (dramatic orchestral music)