Top positive review
Into the Spiritual: From Dance to Transcendence
Reviewed in the United States on June 26, 2018
A Far Cry is an 18-member string orchestra of violins, violas, cellos, and basses based in Boston that performs like a quartet, without conductor. The juxtaposition of Bach and Glass makes tonal sense besides both being keyboard concerti. Bach's harpsichord work in G minor (here played on the piano by Simone Dinnerstein) is a transcription of Bach's violin concerto in A minor. Its arcs of flowing, dancing notes and repetitions in part suggested the album's title, Circles. Indeed, the musicians were recorded in a circle with the piano in the middle. The Third Piano Concerto of Glass, written just last year in 2017, continues his explorations of quick changes in tempo and spatial arrangements of intermeshed and staggered arpeggios that lead to complex, romantically dramatic moods. Sometime harmonically rhapsodic, sometime chordal terse, it too has its repetitions that resonate with the earlier Bach piece. The final movement is dedicated to Arvo Pärt and has his characteristic slow, mystical, transcendent feeling along with bass note tintinnabulation. In his 80's, Glass continues to fascinate and evolve with ever more profound scores. Dinnerstein has a light, crisp touch in her piano work, which ably supports the quiet, sustained sections of Glass and the sweetness of Bach.