Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Flash Phil

I'm not sure when it started exactly, but the "flash crowd" phenomenon keeps showing up in different forms. I think the first one I saw was a Canadian choir invading a shopping mall in Ontario somewhere and doing the Hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah. That really worked for some reason. But now it is starting to get a bit old hat. The latest one is a "flash choir" premiere of a new work by Philip Glass in Times Square

Due to the ponderous production, the choir doesn't so much 'flash' into existence as slowly meander. Sometimes I wonder about Philip Glass. I don't think I have ever heard a single piece that really captivated me, but here he is, universally renowned. How did that happen? The one thoughtful discussion of his music I have seen published was far from praising. I put up a post about Philip Glass back in February that tries to get some perspective on him. Now, listening to this piece, I'm even less fond of his music. Dull, repetitive music that goes nowhere? Is that worth commissioning and performing? Just for comparison, let me dig out that clip of the Canadian choir doing Handel:

Now THAT'S how to write for a choir!

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