Philip Glass: Songs from the Trilogy

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Philip Glass' 1987 album Songs from the Trilogy is made up of brief selections from his three portrait operas, "Einstein on the Beach" 1976, "Satyagraha" 1980, and "Akhnaten" 1983. It gives a good idea of what the music from the operas sounds like, but at the same time it misrepresents what the music is actually about. In developing his "music with repetitive structures" the description he preferred over "minimalism", Glass was creating a new kind of experience, one in which the traditional temporal expectations of a piece of music are overturned, where changes happen incrementally and very slowly over a long sometimes a very long span of time. A common response to his ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Philip Glass' 1987 album Songs from the Trilogy is made up of brief selections from his three portrait operas, "Einstein on the Beach" 1976, "Satyagraha" 1980, and "Akhnaten" 1983. It gives a good idea of what the music from the operas sounds like, but at the same time it misrepresents what the music is actually about. In developing his "music with repetitive structures" the description he preferred over "minimalism", Glass was creating a new kind of experience, one in which the traditional temporal expectations of a piece of music are overturned, where changes happen incrementally and very slowly over a long sometimes a very long span of time. A common response to his work, particularly his earlier pieces, including "Einstein," was boredom followed by a visceral jolt when the listener was suddenly hit by the power of the gradually evolving changes. The snippets on this album convey the sound of Glass' music, but their brevity rules out the possibility of their having the impact the composer intended. "Trial-Prison" from "Einstein on the Beach," for instance, is cut from 18 minutes to three, and most of the excerpts from "Satyagraha" and "Akhnaten" suffer a same fate, shortened to a third to a half of their original length. Still, the album is not without its merits. The gripping performances are by the Philip Glass Ensemble in "Einstein," and in the case of "Satyagraha" and "Akhnaten," taken from the original cast albums. Tenor Douglas Perry is a standout in the role of Gandhi in "Satyagraha"; his tone is sweet and fresh and his delivery achingly poignant. Soprano Iris Hiskey's crystalline, wordless vocalise in "Bed" from "Einstein" is eerily mesmerizing. In all the operas, Sony's sound is exemplary. The album may not offer much of a real sense of what the operas are like, but if it whets listeners' appetites to seek out the complete recordings it will have served a worthy purpose.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/7/1989
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 074644558029
  • Catalog Number: 45580
  • Sales rank: 14,609

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Protest - Douglas Perry (4:19)
  2. 2 Evening Song - Douglas Perry (4:07)
  3. 3 Hymn to the Sun - Paul Esswood (6:16)
  4. 4 Trial/Prison - Richard Landry (2:47)
  5. 5 Akhnaten & Nefertiti - Paul Esswood (4:15)
  6. 6 Kuru Field of Justice - Douglas Perry (6:04)
  7. 7 Knee 01 (3:32)
  8. 8 Tolstoy Farm - Sheryl Woods (4:54)
  9. 9 Window of Appearances - Paul Esswood (4:22)
  10. 10 Bed (3:40)
  11. 11 Epilogue - Paul Esswood (4:18)
  12. 12 Knee 05 (5:10)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Philip Glass Organ
Dennis Russell Davies Conductor
Jon Gibson Soprano Saxophone
George Andoniadis Organ, Track Performer
Lucinda Childs Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part, Track Performer
Iris Hiskey Soprano (Vocal), Track Performer
Richard Landry Bass Clarinet, Track Performer
Douglas Perry Tenor (Vocal), Track Performer
Michael Riesman Conductor
Sheryl Sutton Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part, Track Performer
Paul Zukofsky Violin, Track Performer
New York City Opera Orchestra Ensemble
Claudia Cummings Soprano (Vocal), Track Performer
Philip Glass Ensemble Ensemble
Rhonda Liss Alto (Vocal), Track Performer
Sheryl Woods Soprano (Vocal)
Paul Esswood Tenor (Vocal), Counter Tenor (Vocal)
Stuttgart State Opera Chorus Ensemble
Stuttgart State Opera Orchestra Ensemble
Stuttgart State Orchestra Ensemble
Scott Reeve Bass (Vocal)
Christopher Keene Conductor
Robert McFarland Baritone (Vocal)
New York City Opera Chorus Ensemble
Milagro Vargas Alto, Soprano (Vocal)
Samuel Johnson Spoken Word
Technical Credits
Philip Glass Lyricist, Producer
Milton Glaser Illustrations
Rory Johnston Contributor
Kurt Munkasci Producer
Michael Riesman Producer, Contributor
Joel Zimmerman Cover Design
Jody Dalton Liner Notes
Jody Dalton Contributor, Liner Notes
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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