Philip Glass turned 70 this year, and the Bay Area is celebrating in style, with performances of two high-profile new works, Appomattox at San Francisco Opera and The Book of Longing, a collaboration with Leonard Cohen, at Stanford Lively Arts. Those works will travel, but last Friday, San Francisco Performances gave us a very special concert indeed, with Glass himself on piano, cellist Wendy Sutter, and percussionist Mick Rossi playing pieces drawn from various periods of the composer's long and prolific career. At the heart of the concert was Songs and Poems for Cello, a suite of seven pieces being performed for only the second time. In his spoken program notes for the piece, Glass said that "you can probably only tell that there are six, but if you're counting, you're probably not listening." He's right about that: I stopped counting somewhere around the second or third piece, carried away in the headlong rush and intensity of the piece, and captivated by Sutter's fearless playing and rich, mahogany tone. Songs and Poems is deeply Romantic in spirit, and at the same time deeply Baroque, unavoidably bringing to mind the Bach suites for solo cello. The familiar ostinatos and repetitions of Glass' style are here extended to tremendous extremes, and turned to produce something like counterpoint, suggesting multiple voices at work throughout. The slashing, angular opening, like a wild czardas, gives way to a warm legato melody with cantorial overtones, the nobility of Bach touched with Jewish lamentation. Another movement starts with a simple, and somehow familiar, tune that returns multiple times, the piece developing into a cross between a rondo and a set of variations. Songs and Poems is a major work, and a major addition to the cello repertory. I hope to someday hear it on a program with one or more of the Bach suites. Glass opened the program with a solo piano performance of selections from Metamorphosis, written in 1988. He played the pieces more or less continuously, on the grounds, he said, that they have a similar emotional feel. That is certainly the case, and the compositional means are similar, as well, though the first movement's Chopinesque arpeggiations and decorations contrasted with the blocks of tone in the third. The composer is a good, though not great, pianist, and fumbled occasionally; it was impossible to tell whether one point of respite from the continuous texture was a striking compositional feature or a memory lapse.