One of the « 30 Best Canadian Classical Recordings Ever » – CBC Music

***2012 JUNO Award Nominee for Classical Composition of the Year, « Glass Houses »***

Canadian composer Ann Southam and pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico collaborated on this project, and together chose nine pieces from Southam’s mammoth piano series Glass Houses. With the composer’s permission, Petrowska Quilico edited and revised these works for this recording just before the composer’s demise late in 2010.


1. Glass Houses #1

2. Glass Houses #7

3. Glass Houses #6

4. Glass Houses #3

5. Glass Houses #13

6. Glass Houses #2

7. Glass Houses #9

8. Glass Houses #4

9. Glass Houses #5

Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano


« Glass Houses Revisited are fiendishly difficult ‘etudes’ for pianists. Fingers become whirling dervishes entering a mystical and ecstatic trance through suddenly shifting patterns and moods. The dizzying tempi, speed and control required from the performer make them extremely demanding and require virtuosic pianistic skills. » – Christina Petrowska Quilico

« Christina Petrowska Quilico’s significant contributions to the recorded contemporary Canadian piano repertoire continue to impress…. Making it sound easier than it is, Quilico’s performance …is coloristic and well-paced, justifying indeed the disc’s title Tapestries. » – Roger Knox, The WholeNote

« This is a CD worth having and listening to. » – Ed Farolan, Review Vancouver

« This is nothing short of miraculous…That Petrowska Quilico can perform these nine pieces is an achievement in itself; that it makes for mesmerizing listening is the magic of art. » – John Terauds, Toronto Star

« Revisiting the late Ann Southam’s Glass Houses is like running into old friends. I hadn’t heard these minimalist piano pieces for years, but those I knew were instantly familiar. It might seem that all this pattern music would start to sound the same, but Southam – who saw it as a metaphor for the repetitive nature of « women’s work » – made each of her (generally consonant) harmonic landscapes absolutely distinctive. Most are affably, gently intriguing; some are ebullient; one is grimly reminiscent of a passage in Steve Reich’s Holocaust work, Different Trains. Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, who revised and edited Glass Houses with Southam’s endorsement, performs them with virtuoso precision, taking advantage of all the piano’s resources – warmth, resonance, pedalling, dynamics. Quilico’s interpretation is less brittle, less abstract than we might expect; it’s also more sensuous, as if those metaphorical women were getting more pleasure from their work. » – Elissa Poole, Globe and Mail

« The choices were made by the composer and the pianist, her longtime friend and fellow Canadian Christina Petrowska Quilico, who also helped to edit the music….Petrowska Quilico[‘]s … playing…is a marvel: as is often the case with so-called Minimalist music, the writing is much more difficult to play than it seems to the casual listener. The coordination of the quicksilver rhythmic shifts requires intense concentration and much of the music is fast and relatively quiet at once, a great technical challenge that recalls the etudes of Chopin and Liszt. Quilico calls her « whirling dervishes » when playing the Glass Houses. She brings it off brilliantly, adding no little warmth as well. » – Peter Burwasser, Fanfare

« Southam, as she neared death in 2010, praised Petrowska Quilico for the way she performed these works: « They’re your pieces for sure. » I can’t disagree, based on what I am hearing here. » – Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare

« There is considerable subtlety in Petrowska Quilico’s performance: light and shade, changes in dynamic, even of tempo, and plenty of characterization – I am tempted to use that old cliche about the art that conceals art. Unlike most Minimalist music in which expressiveness is kept to a minimum, Petrowska Quilico goes for it, even though all but No. 13 are radiantly sunny. Not only are the pieces technically extremely difficult, but they could so easily die in unsympathetic hands. However, clearly, for all sorts of reasons – not least Petrowska Quilico’s pianistic skills – one cannot imagine this performance being bettered. » – Jeremy Marchant, Fanfare

« Enjoyable and easy to listen to, this is minimalist-inspired music that goes beyond that simple ‘moniker’. The music is excellently played. This is an attractive album that will interest fans of minimalism. A fine recording of minimalist-inspired piano pieces that combine motion and speed in a unique musical language. » – Kirk McElhearn, MusicWeb International

« I spent a pleasant hour listening to Glass Houses Revisited. Christina Petrowska Quilico plays the nine piano etudes she selected and edited by the late Ann Southam…..charming album… » – Stanley Fefferman, OpusOne

Bien qu’écrites avec Philip Glass en tête, ces Glass Houses ressemblent plutôt aux oeuvres pour piano de John Adams par leur élan mélodique et formel. La mécanique sublime des « processus » du Steve Reich des années soixante-dix n’y est pas absente non plus; cela s’explique par une méthode de composition différente mais au moins aussi rigoureuse : des ostinati (aussi vifs que stricts) à la main gauche servent de fondement contrapuntique au déploiement de mélodies (populaires) à la main droite. Le tout s’anime dans un étourdissant décalage rythmique. Mme Quilico, dans les notes de programme, compare les difficultés d’exécution à celles des Études de Ligeti; cela semble assez juste. Auteure desdites notes de programme, proche collaboratrice de la compositrice sinon sa co-créatrice dans le travail d’organisation et d’édition, la pianiste joue avec toute la sérénité, la joie de vivre et la précision attendues. Un bonheur pour les amateurs, mais aussi une excellente initiation pour ceux qui croient ne PAS aimer la musique contemporaine canadienne… » – RB, La Scena

« This recording is the result of an extended collaboration – and friendship – between the distinguished Canadian composer Ann Southam and her most devoted interpreter, pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico. Petrowska Quilico selected an assortment of pieces from Southam’s 1981 Glass Houses series, then added her own spin with the composer’s blessing. She describes them as « fiendishly difficult etudes » played at breakneck speed. Petrowska Quilico manages the technical demands with supreme virtuosity and creates a complex sound
tapestry that pays personal tribute to one of Canada’s most engaging musical figures. » – Denise Ball, CBC Music