It was some 17 years before Glass felt the need to return to the quartet form. The intervening two decades witnessed the perfecting of his style, his ‘music with repetitive structures’, through compositions spanning the musical spectrum. There were significant operas (Einstein on the Beach
), music for dance, film, theatre and, perhaps most notably, an important body of work for his Philip Glass Ensemble. The String Quartet No 2, ‘Company’ (1983) was written as four separate musical interpolations for Samuel Beckett’s prose-poem, Company. As often with Beckett the themes of death, solitude and the nature of identity loom large—the opening line setting the theme, ‘A voice comes to one in the dark. Imagine.’ Glass’s music reflects these themes in music of often surprisingly intense lyricism. There is no real sense of Beckett’s own insistence—emotional angst, but instead a beautiful wistfulness that is a serious counterpart to the text and also serves the piece well in its abstraction as a standalone work.
from notes by Signum Classics © 2007