Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Symphony No. 1 (Glass)

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Other name  "Low" Symphony
Style  Postmodern, minimalist
Composed  1992 (1992)
ISWC  T-010.865.755-1
Form  Symphony
Publisher  Dunvagen Music Publishers

Symphony No. 1 "Low", also known as the "Low" Symphony, is a symphony by Philip Glass based on David Bowie's album Low.


In 1996, Glass based another symphony on David Bowie's following album "Heroes".

The symphony

The symphony was composed in 1992 and scored for full orchestra with 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, E-flat clarinet, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, percussion, harp, piano and strings (including 8 first violins, 6 second violins, 4 violas, 4 cellos and 2 double basses).

The symphony has three movements:

  • I. Subterraneans
  • II. Some Are
  • III. Warszawa
  • Glass did not base the second movement on the original album, but rather a remastered version with the track "Some Are", which did not feature on Bowie's original recording.


    The first recording of this work was released in 1993 under the title Low Symphony. It was performed by the Brooklyn Philharmonic orchestra under the batons of Dennis Russell Davies, principal conductor, and Karen Kamensek, assistant conductor. Philip Glass allowed ideas of Bowie and Brian Eno, who worked together on Low, to influence how he worked on the music.

    1. Subterraneans (15:11)
    2. Some Are (11:20)
    3. Warszawa (16:01)


    Symphony No. 1 (Glass) Wikipedia

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