Itaipu (Glass)

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Itaipu is a four-movement symphonic cantata by Philip Glass. The composition was written in 1989,[1] and pays homage to the world's largest hydroelectric dam, built on the Paraná River between Paraguay and Brazil. The text is written in Guaraní, with a translation by Daniela Thomas. It was commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and was first performed on November 2, 1989.[2][3]

The four movements are titled:

  1. Mato Grosso
  2. The Lake
  3. The Dam
  4. To the Sea

The hydroelectric project that this work celebrates was in fact embroiled in much environmental controversy because it was constructed without public consultation, and its construction inundated Guaíra, an immense series of eighteen waterfalls upriver and one of the largest and most spectacular in the world. It is not known whether Glass was aware of this environmental damage when he accepted the commission, traveled to Brazil, and visited the project.[citation needed]



  1. ^ Aguirre, Enrique Ballón (2006). Tradición oral peruana: literaturas ancestrales y populares, Volume 2. Fondo Editorial PUCP. p. 382. ISBN 9972427501. 
  2. ^ Gramophone (1993). Gramophone, Vol. 71, Issue 845–847. Compton Mackenzie. p. 128. ISSN 0017-310X. 
  3. ^ Kathleen Lusk-Brooke, Frank Paul Davidson (2006). Building the World: An Encyclopedia of the Great Engineering Projects in History. Greenwood Press. p. 716. ISBN 0313333742. 

External links[edit]

  • Itaipu on Philip Glass Official Website