Philip Glass: Complete Piano Etudes (2CDs)


Music for solo piano played a peripheral role during the first three decades of Philip Glass’s composing career, but from the 1990s onward he was increasingly in demand for solo performances of his own music. Keen both to provide himself with new repertoire and to develop his technical skills as a pianist, he set to work on Book 1 of what would eventually become a set of twenty etudes whose virtuosic surfaces conceal some of the composer’s most intensely personal music.

Drawing on the form’s historical past while also breaking away from it in inventive ways, these pieces have in recent years taken on a life beyond Glass’s own performances; indeed, Book 2 increasingly pushes at the limits of pianistic technique, in a challenge that has appealed to a new generation of committed virtuosos. Máire Carroll has met the challenge head on, performing the entire set of etudes live from memory and now taking it into the recording studio in interpretations at once personal and faithful to the composer’s tempi and dynamic markings.

Singing In Secret: Clandestine Catholic Music by William Byrd CD Delphian Records


Etude No. 8

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