Philip Glass and Tim Fain Play Chamber Works
The Temple Of Dendur, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Saturday, April 21
Better than: Battling tourists to enjoy what may be the most beautiful room in New York City.
The Sackler Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, containing the more than two-millennium old Temple of Dendur, is by itself one of the most stunning interior spaces in all of New York City, in this writer's humble opinion. On Saturday night, when it became the latest venue for celebrating Philip Glass's 75th birthday as the composer took to a Steinway (joined by the violinist Tim Fain), it also became apparent that it has some of the best acoustics for listening to solo instrumentation.
It's not just that the visual beauty added to experiencing Glass's chamber pieces. Glass's compositions, simultaneously modern and classical, created a nice juxtaposition with the space. Many of Glass's scores have combined a certain modernism with classical subjects (Akhenaten, Kepler, Dracula). The effect is that Glass can simultaneously fuse together a new perspective on an old subjectforcing the listener/viewer to examine the past in a fresh waywhile also simultaneously tying various eras together in such a way that the challenges, ideas and struggles their populations once faced feel timeless and connected to the listener now.