Philip Glass at Ravinia

JUNE 21, 2005
Philip Glass
at Ravinia

This performance of Glass’ new suite “Orion” was a great chance to hear some world-music virtuosos, including three of my favorite “ethnic” instruments, the Chinese lute known as the pipa, the Gambian harp-like instrument called the kora, and the sitar. As on the Orion CD, most of the music was excellent, although the section of Celtic fiddling was a little jarring. And as my brother said, the big finale was a little like “Yanni at the Acropolis.”

We were sitting in front of a chatty older woman who kept asking, “Which of them is Philp Glass? It can’t be that guy” — it was! — “because his hair’s not curly enough.” And when the digeridoo player were performing, she felt it was necessary to comment, “He’s making that noise with his mouth.”