Dreaming Awake by Bruce Levingston
Pianist Bruce Levingston has had a long and celebrated association with Philip Glass and his music. In 2004, the composer wrote his musical tribute to the painter Chuck Close especially for Levingston who premiered the work at New York City's Lincoln Center. The following year, Glass joined Levingston in the same venue for a series of piano duos in a concert that also featured Levingston's longtime friend and Chelsea Hotel neighbor actor Ethan Hawke. At that concert, Levingston and Hawke performed Glass's "Wichita Vortex Sutra" that includes a narration of Allen Ginsberg's eponymous poem. Glass and Ginsberg had performed and recorded it themselves, but the composer enthusiastically blessed this performance by a new generation of artists. Glass, Hawke and Levingston then performed together the finale of Einstein on the Beach. Glass later invited Levingston to join him in premiering his complete Etudes at The Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City in 2014.
Now this extraordinary group of artists is reunited in this Sono Luminus release of Bruce Levingston's new album Dreaming Awake. Levingston pays tribute to Philip Glass with an exploration of his works that spans the length of the composer's career. The recording includes the world premiere of "The Illusionist Suite", ten of the composer's dramatic and deeply moving Etudes (including Etude No. 12 commissioned by Premiere Commission), as well as the richly colored tone poems "Dreaming Awake", "Metamorphosis No. 2" and "Wichita Vortex Sutra" featuring Ethan Hawke as guest artist reading the Allen Ginsberg poem.
This new 2-disc album radiates with what what The New York Times calls "Mr Levingston's mastery of nuance and color" and "his extraordinary gifts as a colorist and performer who can hold attention rapt with the softest playing" (MusicWeb International). It is a very intimate and personal tribute of the most influential and acclaimed composers of our era.