Book of Longing

Book of Longing

A Song Cycle Based on the Poetry and Images of Leonard Cohen

Music CD - 2007
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Publisher: New York, NY : Orange Mountain Music, p2007.
Branch Call Number: CD CHORAL/VOCAL Glass Book
Characteristics: 2 audio discs (88 min., 31 sec.) :,digital ;,4 3/4 in.

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RainbowRabbit
Oct 12, 2015

These are certainly not Leonard Cohen's best songs or even his best poetry. Writing from within a monastic lifestyle, there is much zen to them, along with his familiar mixing of the sexual with the spiritual. What is interesting is that it is not he who has written the music for these, nor is Leonard the singer. Rather, Philip Glass has selected the material from among the poems in Cohen's current book of poetry and set the pieces to music in his regular medium, which is a style of classicism which is growing on me. The singing and the music add to the lyrics and bear repeated readings/hearings. The accompanying booklet has drawings, presumably by Leonard himself. These are at the level of childish, which some may think appropriate and inspired, but which I suggest are simply helpful. The lyrics show Leonard as growing more deeply into his humility, a virtue for which he can be justly proud.

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