Glass: Einstein On The Beach

Glass: Einstein On The Beach

by Philip Glass, Michael Riesman
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In November of 1976, composer Philip Glass and director Robert Wilson presented Einstein on the Beach at the venerable Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Their brave new opera held most of the audience entranced for more than five hours while the rest ran for the exits. Glass didn't exactly become a celebrity overnight -- the day

Overview

In November of 1976, composer Philip Glass and director Robert Wilson presented Einstein on the Beach at the venerable Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Their brave new opera held most of the audience entranced for more than five hours while the rest ran for the exits. Glass didn't exactly become a celebrity overnight -- the day after the performance, he went back to his job driving a taxi -- but Einstein got people talking about Glass's high voltage, highly repetitive, hypnotic music. Experiencing Einstein in an opera house is an extraordinary experience; the music perfectly complements Wilson's stylishly stylized stage direction. Even on a recording, minus its visual component, the pulsating energy of electric keyboards and amplified wind instruments joined to the enigmatic eloquence of the text (partly sung, partly spoken) makes Einstein exhilarating. While the premiere recording -- still available on Sony -- is raw and powerful, some of the repetitions had to be cut, as the original release was designed for LPs. Nonesuch's superb 1993 recording, however, offers the complete score in a more polished performance.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - "Blue" Gene Tyranny
This opera, composed in 1975 and premiered in 1976, is scored for four principal actors, 12 singers doubling as dancers and actors, a solo violinist, and an amplified ensemble of keyboards, winds and voices. It is imbued with the postmodern spirit both in its non-linear, poetic, mystic narrative and the floating, eternal world created by the shifting, mathematically precise patterns of Philip Glass' modal music. There are three primary visual sets linked to three musical themes that recur within the work: trains (recalling the metaphors Einstein used to illustrate the theory of relativity, and with which he played as a child), a trial setting (modern life and modern science examined), and a spaceship (a metaphor for transcendence, and/or an escape from nuclear disaster). Also, Einstein himself appears midway between the orchestra and the stage as a violinist (his hobby) and as observer/witness. There are also additional spoken texts written by Christopher Knowles, Samuel M. Johnson and Lucinda Childs, which appear in various arrangements for single and multiple voices. This work locates itself as a midpoint between the composer's early-'70s work, linking rhythmic and harmonic structures and his later series of operas and vocal works and film scores employing expanded narrative and/or timbral experiments. [A German edition was issued in 2003.]

Product Details

Release Date:
06/12/2007
Label:
Sony Bmg Europe
UPC:
5099708797027
catalogNumber:
087970

Tracks

  1. Einstein on the Beach, opera

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Philip Glass   Primary Artist,Keyboards,Performing Ensemble
Michael Riesman   Primary Artist,Conductor,Keyboards
Jon Gibson   Flute,Orchestra Bells,Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
David Anchel   Vocals
George Andoniadis   Vocals
Sean Barker   Vocals
Marion Beckenstein   Soprano (Vocal)
Connie Beckley   Vocals
Ritty Ann Burchfield   Vocals
Bruce Burroughs   Vocals
Lucinda Childs   Voices
Frank Conversano   Vocals
Gregory Dolbashian   Voices
Michele A. Eaton   Soprano (Vocal)
Gregory Fulkerson   Violin
Katie Geissinger   Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal)
Martin Goldray   Keyboards
Margo Gezairlian Grib   Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal)
Elsa Higby   Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal)
Iris Hiskey   Vocals
Grethe Holby   Vocals
Jeannie Hutchins   Vocals
Marc Jacobi   Vocals
Jeffrey Johnson   Tenor (Vocal)
Jeff Kensmoe   Baritone (Vocal)
John Kock   Tenor (Vocal)
Eric W. Lamp   Tenor (Vocal)
Dickie Landry   Flute,Saxophone
Jasper McGruder   Voices
Richard Morrison   Vocals
Kristin Norderval   Soprano (Vocal)
Dora Ohrenstein   Vocals
Richard Peck   Flute,Saxophone,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Gregory Purnhagen   Baritone (Vocal)
Dana Reitz   Vocals
Marie Rice   Vocals
Ronald Roxbury   Vocals
Patricia Schuman   Soprano (Vocal)
Philip Smith   Vocals
Andrew Sterman   Flute,Bass Clarinet,Piccolo
Peter Stewart   Baritone (Vocal)
Sheryl Sutton   Voices
Lisa Vielawa   Soprano (Vocal)
Forest Warren   Vocals
David Woodberry   Vocals
Paul Zukofsky   Violin
Philip Glass Ensemble   Ensemble

Technical Credits

Philip Glass   Lyricist,Producer
Kurt Munkasci   Producer
Michael Riesman   Director,Producer
Robert Wilson   Director

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >