Trouped last night to Lincoln Center for the New York premiere of a Philip Glass opera, "The Juniper Tree"... or perhaps I should say a "Philip Glass opera" because it was very much a PG-branded work and event, performed by the Collegiate Chorale, conductor Robert Bass. It was, I should say here, the work by Glass I most liked-- based on a tale from the Brothers Grimm (Will never forget the gruesome refrain, repeated ad infinitum: "Mama killed me. Papa ate me"), with an accessible melody, and rear-projection of Maurice Sendak illustrations. Co-author of the music Robert Moran, the librettist Arthur Yorinks. There were Glass's signature arabesques of sound... but well I kept wondering if the catchy tunes that overlaid the swirling background came from his collaborator, but I've since read that the composers alternated scenes in this short two-act piece.
The concert's program notes reveal that Glass studied composition in Paris in the 1960s with Nadia Boulanger and made pocket money transcribing Ravi Shankar's sitar pickings. That explains everything.