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Concert review: Philip Glass, American composer, performed “The complete piano etudes” at the Teatro Regio in Parma for the Barezzi Festival

Recensione del concerto di Philip Glass al Teatro Regio di Parma. Glass ha eseguito tutte e 20 le Etudes al piano.

I had never been to the Teatro Regio in Parma. This is a fact. But I have never listened to the American composer Philip Glass live either.

Tonight I chose to attend the performance of his famous “Etudes for piano”, along with Glass there will also be pianists Maki Namekawa and Roberto Esposito. Before coming here to the theater, I saw some videos of the performances of the pianist Maki Namekawa that I recommend you listen to.

In this review I want to share with you the emotions I felt during the concert, the tracklist in order of execution, some discs to listen to and also a mini interview I shot with Glass during the Meet & Greet. I leave the links at the bottom of the article;)

I thank the photographer Roberto Ricci for the kind concession of the photos published on this article.

Philip Glass is one of the living pianists and composers positioned at number 9 of the Top 100 of living geniuses compiled in 2007 by the English magazine “The Telegraph”.

I had the opportunity to meet him in person at an aperitif reserved for a few people before the concert and it was something unexpected; I had in front of me a person completely available, open and enthusiastic to have a chat.

But now let’s start, we enter the theater.

Recensione del concerto di Philip Glass al Teatro Regio di Parma. Glass ha eseguito tutte e 20 le Etudes al piano.

The theater is packed. Within 15 minutes before the start, waiting for me I find the reserved seat in the central stalls from which the view is excellent. I couldn’t ask for anything better. All around me is a shouting, an exchange of greetings between, I suppose, the regular patrons of this theater.

And here slowly the lights dim, the voices are silent and await his entry: Philip glass enters the stage, a greeting to the audience and breaks the silence by performing “Etudes 1”. I close my eyes and I am captivated by this music that until now I had only been able to admire through a pair of excellent headphones and never live.

The emotions that go through me are many: I think about where we are, the world we have locked out of here, all the music that still has to come out of those keys and I immerse myself in an infinity of perfect and penetrating notes to the point that, I feel an increase in the heartbeat that is synchronized with this rhythm that crosses the whole room and I imagine setting sail on a ship that slowly takes me towards new horizons …

On stage it is a succession of perfect sounds. One after the other they creep into me and let emotions and dreams escape; it’s a music that makes you travel a lot. I am amazed by the skill of the other pianists who are performing the “20 Etudes” tonight, and in particular I am captivated by the perfection of the pianist Maki Namekawa who seems to be spinning in the air as her fingers direct this symphony of notes that surrounds us.

Now it’s time for glass to return to the stage, before the break between the two performances. He warns us that he will perform the “Etudes 9 and 10” then after the break he will introduce us to the rest.
In particular, the “Etudes 9 and 10” are hypnotic, they capture and immediately make the mind travel to distant and unexplored places or they almost seem to represent a one-way journey within our body, a multi-direction of continuous connections and disconnections. It almost seems that Glass wants to take us to the depths of our soul to read who we are, why we are here and where we will go … In places where the imagination is infinite and leaves ample room for our freedoms.

Break time.

Recensione del concerto di Philip Glass al Teatro Regio di Parma. Glass ha eseguito tutte e 20 le Etudes al piano.

The theater is packed. During this break I really realize how many people there are tonight to attend this unique concert in Italy. On the other hand, I’ve never been here … I chat with some of those present and discover that there are people who have even come from Rome to hear Glass live.

I wander around the hall a little longer, look around and observe this impalpable energy that has left everyone amazed in front of this immense music that touches the strings of the soul. I think it’s one of the best aspects of being a composer: knowing that anyone who will listen to your compositions on the piano will one day experience the same emotions as you or experience new ones. Live your own. Return, the second part begins soon.

The lights dim, faint, and here Glass reappears to announce what we will hear in this second part of the concert. A short comment and off you go.

Recensione del concerto di Philip Glass al Teatro Regio di Parma. Glass ha eseguito tutte e 20 le Etudes al piano.

The pianists take turns on the stage without stopping and with an impeccable gracefulness. Let’s go back immediately immersed in that place where it is possible to travel to discover new horizons never imagined until now: our soul. The atmosphere inside the theater is palpable, full of admiration and alienation for this so eternal music. And this is how we continue to sail on these calm but sometimes even agitated waters, which take us to our destination after having transported us to another dimension to entertain an elegant dialogue with our soul, all that we have been and will be. . Convinced that we can become everything we have always wanted.

The concert ends. The audience is in raptures, standing ovations for these excellent performances. I stay a little longer in observation, listening to everything that this concert has left me inside and wondering what I will take home this evening on the way back to the real world…

Recensione del concerto di Philip Glass al Teatro Regio di Parma. Glass ha eseguito tutte e 20 le Etudes al piano.

A hug,


I leave you some links to learn more:

Biografia Philip Glass

Biografia Maki Namekawa

Complete “Piano Etudes”

The concept I take home tonight is:

I think the world is better today than when I started composing. Internet today has changed the rules but it always remains a certainty: continue to have passion in the dream you believe in, and it will take you far.” I think this is the sentence that sums up this concert and the message that Philip Glass left me during the mini-interview that I managed to give him.

Goodnight Parma.

I’ve always dreamed of being able to write freely about music. The article you have just read is part of my project which I called¬†menomasia (union of words thank goodness so be it); menomasia is not just a musical column, but it is an extemporaneous story of what music and art convey and how without them this world would not be so full of life.
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Christian DeLord

Author Christian DeLord

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