Book of Longing CD

Everything about Leonard's 2006 book of poetry and Anjani's album
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jarkko
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Re: Book of Longing CD

Postby jarkko » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:02 pm

I got it now from Amazon Germany... very stylish package...
started with 1000 Kisses (retitled to You came to me this morning) -
my favorite at least after hearing the production for the first time at Barbican!

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linda_lakeside
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Re: Book of Longing CD

Postby linda_lakeside » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:03 am

On a parallel track, I wonder how many people were introduced to Allen Ginsberg by his work with Philip Glass?

I think many of us have "Leonard Cohen" glasses and look at Philip Glass or Lewis Furey as interlopers who sully Leonard's work or hang on to his coattails. Which isn't fair to all parties.
Pardon/forgive me if this has been addressed already, as I'm just doing a fly-by, I can't possibly read every word of every thread. Opendoor, it may not be 'fair' to any or all parties, but if I had heard the early Leonard material as portrayed by Glass, I may not be the Cohenite I am and always will be. I see Glass as a bit of 'bump' in the road, so to speak. Who knows what may have happened if Glass had 'introduced' us to Leonard? I suspect it would have been the Philip Glass Files I'm typing my response in, saying 'but what of that Cohen fellow, he pretty good, don't you think'? Although I'm not as 'purist' concerning Leonard's work as others are, I cannot wrap my head around a Glass/Cohen collaboration. I can only hope it does well (for Leonard's sake), but my heart is and always will be with Leonard. After all, it's Leonard's 'word's' that we love, isn't it? No one has ever portrayed him as a 'master-musician'. The Ginsberg analogy is bang-on. I think Ginsberg fans simply 'put up with Glass' in much the same way we're now doing with Leonard/Glass. This is a very quick and very convoluted post, but hey! it's not the first from me, nor will it be the last. :neutral:

Cheers to Glass fans, but Leonard' work is the canvas onto which Glass' work was painted.
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.
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Re: Book of Longing CD

Postby richardrj » Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:43 pm

linda_lakeside wrote:Cheers to Glass fans, but Leonard' work is the canvas onto which Glass' work was painted.
What does this mean? Are you implying that the BOL texts are somehow more important to the piece than the music? If so, I have to disagree. The words and music work together to create the piece. It's irrelevant that the lyrics came first.
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Re: Book of Longing CD

Postby linda_lakeside » Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:24 pm

What my post means, is that I am not a Glass fan, so naturally, I'm going to feel that Leonard's contribution had more import. I didn't see the concert, so I could've been swayed if I had. Ultimately what it means is that we all have opinions, differing opinions. I have mine, you have yours. Maybe one day this concert will make it to my part of the world and I can judge with a little more objectivity, but for now, that's my opinion.
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.
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Re: Book of Longing CD

Postby richardrj » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:11 pm

linda_lakeside wrote:What my post means, is that I am not a Glass fan, so naturally, I'm going to feel that Leonard's contribution had more import.
I would have thought it was self-evident that whether you are a fan of Cohen, or Glass, or (as I am) both, your views on the relative merits of the artists has no relevance to the matter of whose contribution has more significance. And the fact that you've not yet heard the piece is also irrelevant. In this, as in any piece of sung music, there is the music and the text (the libretto, if you like). Historically, the librettist has tended to receive less prominent attention than the composer of the music. In some 17th century operas, the name of the librettist was not even recorded. To this day, in opera circles, the composer is usually credited above the librettist.

Personally I think this is lopsided, and that the librettist and composer should be given equal weight. Whether you think Cohen's poems were ill served by Glass's music, or (as I do) that the music was ill served by the text, the important thing is that the two elements together combine to form the piece as a whole.
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Re: Book of Longing CD

Postby linda_lakeside » Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:03 am

You are absolutely correct. The two elements, do indeed, form to make one piece of work. The fact that I don't like Glass is truly irrelevant. Even having not seen the performance is irrelevant. All true. Although, I'd hardly call BOL a 'libretto', in the form that we generally view librettos - it was a piece of work, before Glass entered the picture, but that's neither here nor there. If someone forced a ticket on me, I'd probably attend a Glass concert, but that hardly seems likely, and it would only be out of curiosity, as I have heard his work. Maybe I'm crazy, but I'd bet you a dollar that most of those in attendance from this forum attended only because of Leonard. So, having not attended, I really can't say more than have a good holiday, and all the best to you and yours in the New Year.

Linda.
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.
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Re: Book of Longing CD

Postby richardrj » Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:47 am

linda_lakeside wrote:Although, I'd hardly call BOL a 'libretto', in the form that we generally view librettos - it was a piece of work, before Glass entered the picture, but that's neither here nor there.
Yes, but Glass chose the poems he was going to include in the piece. He had a very clear idea in his mind of which of the poems would work with musical settings, and also wanted to emphasise certain lyrical themes. So, in a way, he is partly responsible for the text as well.
linda_lakeside wrote:Maybe I'm crazy, but I'd bet you a dollar that most of those in attendance from this forum attended only because of Leonard.
Absolutely. What's more, I suspect many of those who attended the Barbican concert only did so because he was there in person and would not have attended otherwise, even though they may call themselves Cohen fans.
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Joe Way
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Re: Book of Longing CD

Postby Joe Way » Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:01 pm

Jarkko wrote:
very stylish package...
Mine came last night from Amazon U.S. I agree that it is very elegant in appearance. I haven't listened to it fully-just a bit in the car on the way to work, but I couldn't help but think how fresh it made Leonard's words seem especially "Back On Boogie Street." It was like hearing the poems in a completely new style and discovering new nuances in the words and phrasings.

I'm really anxious to hear it all again.

Joe
"Say a prayer for the cowboy..."
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Re: Book of Longing CD

Postby panjandrum » Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:13 am

I'm not going to be wishy/washy about this either. I've listened to this two times straight through, and other than Leonard's own readings I think this thing is absolutely godawful. I'm so terribly disappointed that I could pull out my hair. It is obvious Glass hasn't got a clue how to "read" Cohen. I'm usually kind of neutral on Glass (liking some of his stuff quite a bit and other bits not much at all), so this is not a case of just hating Glass in general.

That this could have easily been a great work makes it only more disappointing. Can you imaging how wonderful this would have been if (like the first track) it was simply Glass composing some neo-classical music and Leonard reading, just reading, his works? That would have been beautiful. Instead we have a travesty.

I'm going to continue giving it a listen every few weeks and see it my opinion changes, but at this point it is actually emotionally painful to me to listen to it....
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Re: Book of Longing CD

Postby linda_lakeside » Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:07 am

Gee. Thank you for not being wishy/washy. I guess we can all be glad you didn't really 'spill it out'. ;-)

Glass, for many, seems to be a love him or leave him composer/performer. I wouldn't dream of buying Glass' BOL, as for me, Leonard is a 'personal' journey. No one can interpret his poems for me. Only I can. That's why we all have our personal faves. I'm familiar with Glass, and I could not for the life of me, see a collaboration that wouldn't leave me cold. Just another opinion. Yours, Joe's and mine - the tie-breaker 8) But, to be fair, I should at least listen to it. Some day.

***Ooops. I see I've already opined on this topic in this very thread. Well, so be it. I'm not trying to beat a dead horse. I appreciate the opinions of other forum members. Rather than deleting my post, I'll leave it, but richardj, I guess you can tell nothing has changed. ;-) Glad Joe's here.
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.
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Re: Book of Longing CD

Postby Kush » Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:42 am

I almost feel apologetic I am forced to give a very contrarian view - this is not just a good album its a masterpiece. It really is astounding. I am hearing the first disc 3 times now in a row - havent yet been able to go to the 2nd one. I cant make the hills, A sip of wine, The light came through the window, Puppet Time, Babylon - all simply perfect. No doubt the words will in time work their way into my consciousness in time but for now just the voices, phrasing, music ....transports me to a different time on this snowy morning. A sip of Wine and Babylon (if i remember correctly) have a lot of drama in the singing and the music. Well, to each his own of course - I just feel good hearing it and thats a good feeling.

p.s. I am hearing Babylon now and it has real theatrical quality about it - I agree with Joe as I am really paying attention to the words this time - it makes them pop out and become a dramatic piece.
But which one is Back on Boogie Street that you talk of? I dont see it.
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Re: Book of Longing CD

Postby linda_lakeside » Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:10 am

Just a quick reply from moi before someone answers your question. Really?? I've heard much to the contrary, but almost as much 'good' about this album. I guess, if it's not priced out of range, it can be an album, one of those that no collector should be without? It 'does' have Cohen material. And it's recent. You know? The CD you may not play as often as the others, but it's in your collection because it's his work. Kind of like DOALM. :neutral: gulp - there are some places in town where you can listen before you buy (mostly the top 100 I 'think'), but maybe they'll drag this one out for me. If so, I'll def. give it a listen, and who knows? I might wind up eating my previous words? That's the worst that can happen, and I've done that before. :lol:
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.
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Re: Book of Longing CD

Postby lizzytysh » Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:25 pm

It's both loved and hated... it's both hated and loved
Seems fitting somehow for a collaboration
between Leonard Cohen ;-) and Philip Glass ;-)
The somehow 'proper' reactions, in fact.


~ Lizzy

I still look forward to listening to mine in the privacy and clarity of my own home. Your comments make me want to have a sip of wine and listen, Kush. If only it were piled up with snow outside... then, it would be perfect.
. . . for now just the voices, phrasing, music ....transports me to a different time on this snowy morning.
This perspective especially draws me to it.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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Re: Book of Longing CD

Postby tomsakic » Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:28 am

Unfortunately, the Glass CD has very bad way of distribution. From Glass' web-site and Orange Mountain Music web-site, the only way to get it is US Amazon (with link), but there the CD was "out of stock - delivery date later" on the very first day of release. Anyway, I ordered it, and they informed me it will be arriving in three weeks. But now the delays are starting (note that I pre-ordered it two days before the release date!):
We're writing about the order you placed on December 11 2007 02:45 PST . Unfortunately, we are unable to ship the
item(s) as soon as we expected and need to provide you with a new estimate of when the item(s) may be delivered:

Daniel Keeling (Performer), et al "Glass: Book of Longing" [Audio CD]
Estimated arrival date: 01/28/2008 - 02/22/2008
My experiences with delays so far were very bad - after many months of delaying, the item would be cancelled. It's a shame that the only way to get this CD - Amazon.com - is not working.

Anyhow, February 22 is very far. It's a shame for Amazon and for Glass' label Orange Mountain Music. I will probably cancell my order as I don't have the time to deal with things like this. I wonder about all othe rpeople trying to get this from Amazon - is their order also delayed for months? I wouldn't say this is because the CD was sold out - it's simply not distributed.
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Re: Book of Longing CD

Postby linda_lakeside » Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:49 am

Whoa. OK. Good for those who have it whether they like it or not. But Leonard seems to be under some kind of big, bad Karma stick (with the exception of his induction), will that help. I doubt it. I don't even know what to say. richardj, I'm sorry I took such an immobile stance - but we should at least be able to 'hear' it, like it or not. I don't know. I give up. Leonard is in the thick of it, then he's doing good, then back into the ....maybe it wasn't selling, Tom. Maybe that's why the distribution was cut. No sales - no distribution. Who knows? Some previously dist. product might be in the 'value bins' as I post. It's a pretty esoteric product at best - the record companies seldom get behind that kind of material.
~ The smell of perfume in the air, bits of beauty everywhere ~ Leonard Cohen.

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