Philip Glass: La Belle et la Bête

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Glass transcends his usual soundtrack work this time by composing an opera dramatized by a film projected on a screen above the performers -- the film in question being Jean Cocteau's La Belle et la Betê or Beauty and the Beast. This is truly a monumental accomplishment: music was composed and timed perfectly in sync with the action of the film and the artist toured major cities with this show. In live performance, the conductor conducts the piece with the film as metronome. The vocalists sing the dialogue spoken by the actors in this film, facing the screen while they do so -- creating the effect of breathing the words into the mouths of the actors on screen. Music is provided by the Philip Glass Ensemble and other ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Glass transcends his usual soundtrack work this time by composing an opera dramatized by a film projected on a screen above the performers -- the film in question being Jean Cocteau's La Belle et la Betê or Beauty and the Beast. This is truly a monumental accomplishment: music was composed and timed perfectly in sync with the action of the film and the artist toured major cities with this show. In live performance, the conductor conducts the piece with the film as metronome. The vocalists sing the dialogue spoken by the actors in this film, facing the screen while they do so -- creating the effect of breathing the words into the mouths of the actors on screen. Music is provided by the Philip Glass Ensemble and other auxiliary players. The recording itself is comprised of one solid block of music, varying little in dynamics or intensity, featuring Glass' usual series of arpeggios -- primarily synthesizer-driven. It is difficult to discern the voices of the characters from one another by listening to the recording only, and luckily the complete lyrics and translation are included with the recording. For those who have seen the spectacle of the live performance, the recording will be absolutely wonderful. On its own merits, the recording itself seems a little static -- all musical dynamics occur in the only in chord changes. A deluxe booklet is included with the full libretto, an interview, and stills from the film. ~ Mark W. B. Allender
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/18/1995
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • UPC: 075597934724
  • Catalog Number: 79347

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Philip Glass Primary Artist, Keyboards
Jon Gibson Flute, Saxophone, Soprano (Vocal)
Martin Goldray Keyboards
Richard Peck Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Gregory Purnhagen Baritone (Vocal)
Michael Riesman Conductor, Keyboards
Andrew Sterman Flute, Bass Clarinet, Piccolo, Soprano Saxophone
Janice Felty Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal)
Philip Glass Ensemble Ensemble
John Kuether Baritone (Vocal)
Eleanor Sandresky Keyboards
Ana Maria Martinez Soprano (Vocal)
Hallie Neill Soprano (Vocal)
Zheng Zhou Baritone (Vocal)
Henri Alekan Conductor
Technical Credits
Philip Glass Composer
Kurt Munkasci Producer
Michael Riesman Musical Director, Synthesizer Arrangements
Alan Johnson Vocal Coach
Jean Cocteau Cover Art
James Law Sound Effects
Rich Costey Engineer
Konstanze Streese Librettist
Amanda Riesman Libretto Translation
Anne Pope Engineer
Jonathan Cott Liner Notes
John Gall Graphic Design
Jonathan Ducket Sound Effects
John Witte Synthesizer Arrangements
MacDonald Quayle Sound Effects
Lisa Glaeser Librettist
Svjetlana Bukvic Intern
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