Philip Glass: Mad Rush

 “The activity of the artist is about transcending the ordinary world. The world of appearances” (Philip Glass). 

My previous music post highlighted American composer Philip Glass, and I am now sharing his beautiful, minimalistic composition Mad Rush. This piece was first written by Glass in 1978 for an organ of the cathedral of St. John the Divine (New York) for the occasion of the Dalai Lama’s first public address in the US in 1979. It has since been re-recorded and titled Mad Rush (which can now be viewed as encapsulating our frantic modern lifestyles). I love the way this piece intertwines the themes of peace and chaos – the meditative and the sublime. Philip Glass said that that these two contrasting themes represent “the play of the wrathful and peaceful deities in Tibetan Buddhism“.


11 thoughts on “Philip Glass: Mad Rush

  1. Upon first listen it sounds as though a state of peace is attacked by this “wrathful deity”, perhaps. The peace is trapped initially. Static. It needs change. The chaos permeates it. But the peace always prevails in the next measure or so. That’ what I hear initially, and by following your description.

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  2. Thanks for posting, Diana. I am a fan of Philip Glass. In particular, you might like very much another piano piece of his, “Metarmorphosis Five.” I like the way Manon Clément plays it. There is an album of her playing selections from Glass. She should be better known.

    The best Glass piano interpreter is Maki Namekawa. Recently, I saw her perform Glass’s piano sonata at the Morgan Library in New York. It is available on CD. Nanekawa has other albums in which she performs Glass’s piano etudes. and other pieces.

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