This spring we reviewed the world premiere of Anchorage violinist Lee Wilkins "An American 1812 Overture." (See "Review: Anchorage Civic Orchestra" posted April 30 on this blogsite and a related piece in "ArtBeat" published in May.)
Now famed minimalist composer Philip Glass will have his own "1812 Overture" premiered at two performances on Sunday, June 17, in Baltimore and Toronto.
Washington Post critic Anne Midgette notes that Glass has previously written a riposte to Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" titled "The American Four Seasons."
It's doubtful that Glass knew anything about Wilkins' work; he was probably already working on his own "1812" at about the same time as the Alaskan composer/musician/conductor. The concurrence is serendipity fed by the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, and, without hearing the new work, we feel confident in predicting that it will be totally different from Wilkins curious and careful weaving of American/British tunes into the format of Tchaikovsky's origitnal "1812 Overture."
Midgette notes that there have been queries from other orchestras interested in the Glass piece. Maybe some of them will think outside the minimalist music box and give Wilkins a call while they're at it.
- Mike Dunham