Mad Rush

Philip Glass

Mad Rush

About this work

The intimate nature of Mad Rush, one of Philip Glass's few works for solo piano, is not only due to the instrumental economy of the work, but perhaps also to a certain personal conviction on the part of the composer. Composed in 1981 on the occasion of the Dalai Lama's visit to New York City, its first performance was given by the composer, himself a devout Buhddist, on the organ while the Lama entered the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Later, when it was used by choreographer Lucinda Childs (who had been an important collaborator and performer in Glass's first opera Einstein on the Beach in 1976), the music was given the title of the dance it accompanied, Mad Rush. The work is highly cohesive -- its recurring minor-third motive flows seamlessly through its tertially-related harmonic areas, and its the seven sections are closely interrelated in their plaintive bass motion.

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