Pianist Jenny Lin has had much success recording 20th-century piano music for a number of fine labels, with composers ranging from Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Schnabel to a number of contemporary Americans. No stranger to the works of Philip Glass, she has already recorded the Complete Etudes for the Steinway & Sons label after having presented a whole series of them live. This new disc presents a cross-section of his best-known works as well as the recent Distant Figure – Passacaglia for solo piano.
One look at Ms. Lin’s discography confirms her formidable technique and specialisation in this repertoire and listening to this disc places her amongst the finest interpreters of Glass that we have – one as fine as Olafsson on DG. In a fine Youtube video, Glass is found in conversation with Lin where he describes his piano music as intimate music “rather than music to be performed at Carnegie Hall” and that tempi are deliberately not set. This, explains the composer, allows pianists of different levels of ability to play his music and also to play them differently “leaving a doorway open to interpretation – if someone does something I like, then I’ll incorporate it into my performances”.
Many familiar pieces are here (Mad Rush and the Metamorphoses familiar from the soundtrack to The Thin Blue Line and the composer’s own earlier Sony recordings and live performances. Recorded in warm sound, these will appeal to Glass fans – both the dilettante and the heavily attenuated.
Works: Piano Works
Performer: Jenny Lin p
Label: Steinway & Sons STNS30127