Among "serious" contemporary composers, Philip Glass has been one of the most ardently involved with cinema, not only having written scores to films by some of the most artful directors of recent tim

Among "serious" contemporary composers, Philip Glass has been one of the most ardently involved with cinema, not only having written scores to films by some of the most artful directors of recent times (Godfrey Reggio, Martin Scorsese) but having composed wonderful new scores for early movie classics (Dracula, La Belle et la Bête). This five-CD, slimline boxed set collects some of his milestone work in the genre, including the complete scores to the influential, imagistic Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi by Reggio (films in which Glass's motoric minimalism was as much a part of the experience as the pictures). It's unfortunate that the disc here of Dracula—one of Glass' most lyrical, moving works, regardless of genre—is the same Kronos Quartet recording as the recently released album, rather than a live recording of the revelatory touring version that had the composer joining Kronos in a piano quintet arrangement. But a unique item here is the disc of highlights from Glass' innovative 1994 "film opera" La Belle et la Bête. And the final disc features excerpts from some of his other scores (Mishima, Kundun, Thin Blue Line, The Secret Agent), including new music for shorts by Peter Greenaway and Atom Egoyan. As Glass notes in the set's fine booklet, film scores without film are like opera scores without the stage—they're missing a key element in the artistic equation; still, more than most film composers, Glass writes film music that possesses independent allure, which is underlined by this set.—BB