Philip Glass’ “Mishima” Finds New Audiences

Apparently, the music of Philip Glass is entering the wedding repertoire.

This weekend, I’ll be performing the closing movement of Glass’ String Quartet No. 3 “Mishima” for an indoor wedding ceremony. For years, I have played countless wedding jobs with a variety of ensembles and this is the first time I can recall Glass’ music being requested.

In 1985, Philip Glass scored the music for the film, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, co-written and directed by Paul Schrader. The dark subject of the film is the life and political activity of the writer, Yukio Mishima, who committed a ritual suicide after leading a failed coup attempt against the Japanese government in 1970. The film’s soundtrack features the Kronos Quartet. The same year, Glass transformed excerpts from the score into the six-movement String Quartet No. 3. 

The closing of Mishima meets the film with a sense of hypnotic detachment. Listen to the way this music develops gradually out of its undulating pulse, keeping us suspended somewhere between tension and resolution.

Recordings

  • Glass: String Quartet No. 3 “Mishima,” Kronos Quartet Amazon
  • Glass: Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (soundtrack) Amazon

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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