INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Los Angeles Times FEBRUARY 16, 1997 - by Josef Woodard
ON "HEROES" GLASS IS HALF-EMPTY
Anyone who knows and loves the David Bowie albums Low and "Heroes" may be at a disadvantage in appreciating Philip Glass' trivialising orchestrations of this distinctive music. Bowie's albums of the late '70s, rightly considered landmarks of pop experimentalism, stem from a dark transitional period in Bowie's career and emotional trajectory, when he and producer Brian Eno concocted odd instrumental pop vignettes that seemed to come from an alternate universe. In 1992, Glass sugarcoated Low, making it into Low Symphony; this time he has taken themes from Side Two of "Heroes" and inflated them, adding his own Glass-y motifs. The work has a dual life, as a dance score taken up by Twyla Tharp (for her latest ensemble, Tharp!), and as a stand-alone, ready-to-wear symphonic work. What's missing, in Glass' version, is the wonderfully naive, hermetic air of the original, its lab-experiment charm. In Glass' ever-expanding, hit-and-miss discography, count this one as mostly a miss.