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String Quartet No. 3 (Mishima)
Music for Mishima

Philip on Film on Nonesuch
The Truman Show on Milan Records
Kronos Quartet on Nonesuch
Kronos Quartet Performs Philip Glass on Nonesuch
Philip Glass Soundtracks - Michael Riesman

Mishima by Paul Schrader
The Truman Show by Peter Weir

Film Music Screencraft by Mark Russell




Music by Philip Glass
String quartets performed by The Kronos Quartet
Michael Riesman, Conductor

Nonesuch 79113-2


1. Mishima/Opening   2:46
2. November 25: morning   4:08
3. 1934: grandmother & Kimitake   3:37
4. Temple of the golden pavilion ("like some enormous music")   3:06
5. Osamu's Theme: Kyoko's house   2:58
6. 1937: Saint Sebastian  
7. Kyoko's house ("stage blood is not enough")   5:00
8. November 25: Ichigaya   2:11
9. 1957: award montage   3:56
10. Runaway horses ("poetry written with a splash of blood")   9:09
11. 1962: body building   1:29
12. November 25: the last day   1:30
13. F-104: epilogue from Sun and Steel   1:59
14. Mishima/Closing   2:57

Over the last fifteen years, Philip Glass has defined a new form of biographical opera. There was never any doubt that he would be the ideal composer for Mishima, a mosaic film biography. I wanted a score which would unite the film's disparate elements and propel it forward. Such a score, by definition, would be a distinct, cohesive composition.

I only wondered how to induce Glass. Money was out of the question: the film was already an egregiously under-budgeted labor of love production. I opted for a soft sell. (I've subsequently learned how remarkably resistant Philip is to a hard one.) I simply gave him the script and all the materials by and about Mishima at my disposal.

Philip responded enthusiastically and after several pre-production meetings and a trip to the Tokyo locations, wrote a score from the script as he would from a libretto. With Kurt Munkacsi and Michael Riesman he recorded a temp synthesizer version.

I edited the film to this temp score, altering it as necessary: cutting, expanding and repeating cues. I then played the edited film and score for Philip. He rewrote the music to fit the film's now-precise specifications and recorded it with a full orchestra. Later, he supervised last-minute changes during the final mix.

In keeping with the original concept, Glass has re-edited the score as a distinct musical entity. His Mishima equally serves the film and stands alone.

— Paul Schrader

Original music composed by Philip Glass. Conducted by Michael Riesman. String quartets performed by The Kronos Quartet: David Harrington, violin. John Sherba, violin. Hank Dutt, viola. Joan Jeanrenaud, cello.

Produced by Kurt Munkacsi for Euphorbia Productions, Ltd. NY, NY. Recording engineer: Dan Dryden, Assistant: Don Christensen. Recorded at: Greene St. Studios NY, NY and The Living Room Inc. NY, NY. Remixed by: Dan Dryden, Kurt Munkacsi, Michael Riesman. Remixed at: The Living Room, Inc. NY, NY. Contractor for the musicians: Earl Shendell. Mastered by: Bill Kipper, Masterdisk, NY, NY.

Album art direction: Eiko Ishioka. Photo: Sukita. Album design: Makoto Kumakura.

Published by Dunvagen Music Publishers, Inc. (ASCAP). © 1985 Nonesuch Records.