Philip Glass about his Etudes

The Etudes were begun in the mid-90s and new music is still being added to this collection as I write these notes in 2003. Their purpose was two-fold. First, to provide new music for my solo piano concerts. And second, for me to expand my piano technique with music that would enhance and challenge my playing. Hence, the name Etudes, or “studies”. The result is a body of work that has a broad range of dynamic and tempo. I intend to complete the second set of ten etudes, of which the first six are already composed, in the next few years.

– Philip Glass, 2003

The second set of 10 Etudes (now referred to as Book 2) has turned out quite differently. Just as Etudes 1 – 10 (Book 1) took up the technical matters of piano playing, Book 2 is an extension of a musical journey unterdaten in the last 10 years. The subsequent Etudes have been about the language of music iteself – developing new strategies regarding rhythmic and harmonic movement. The last Etude (No. 20) was composed just after Godfrey Reggio’s latest film, Visitors, and follows closely its music.

– Philip Glass, 2014