Symphony No. 1 (Glass)

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Symphony No. 1 "Low"
Other name "Low" Symphony
ISWC T-010.865.755-1
Style Postmodern, minimalist
Form Symphony
Composed 1992 (1992)
Publisher Dunvagen Music Publishers
Duration 42 minutes
Date 30 August 1992 (1992-08-30)
Location Munich, Germany
Conductor Dennis Russell Davies
Performers Junge Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie

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[edit]

The symphony was composed in 1992 and scored for full orchestra with 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, E 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:

  1. Subterraneans
  2. Some Are
  3. Warszawa

"Some Are", the David Bowie song on which the second movement was based, didn't feature on the original release of Low but was recorded during the Low recording sessions. The song would later be released on the Rykodisc reissue of David Bowie's album in 1991.


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.[1] Philip Glass allowed ideas of Bowie and Brian Eno, who worked together on Low, to influence how he worked on the music.[2]

  1. Subterraneans (16:08)
  2. Some Are (11:11)
  3. Warszawa (19:24)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Philip Glass: Music: "Low" Symphony Archived 20 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Philip Glass: Music: "Low" Symphony". Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2011.