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Philip Glass - Einstein on the Beach Click here to see this CD at Amazon.com!

By Marc Weidenbaum

Phalanxes of woodwinds, organs, and voices pulse through Philip Glass's most famous opera like nothing so much as a migratory flock engaged in acrobatics overhead. There is no center to the kinetic activity; the down beat might shift, in split-second hindsight, to the up beat, and the synthesizer might suddenly upstage the libretto of nonsense syllables. The exuberant cacophony of overlapping scripts makes the term "counterpoint" seem inadequate, antiquated. Such was Glass's hope, of course, when on the 200th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. he consolidated influences as diverse as raga, minimalism, and progressive rock to produce one of the few canonical works of late-20th-century opera. The title subject might be taken as a pretext for mathematical reverie, but as much as this is "experimental" music; it is a work of art, not science. The ostensible absence of narrative--despite strong voice-over-like recitatives, written in part by the vocalists--is made up for by the lengthy work's dramatic setting, staged by Robert Wilson, and the intense forward momentum of Glass' composition.

Tracks
1. Einstein On The Beach: Knee Play 18. Einstein On The Beach: Act 3, Scene 1: Trial - Prison
2. Einstein On The Beach: Act 1, Scene 1: Train9. Einstein On The Beach: Act 3, Scene 2: Dance 2
3. Einstein On The Beach: Act 1, Scene 2: Trial10. Einstein On The Beach: Knee Play 4
4. Einstein On The Beach: Knee Play 211. Einstein On The Beach: Act 4, Scene 1: Building - Train
5. Einstein On The Beach: Act 2, Scene 1: Dance I12. Einstein On The Beach: Act 4, Scene 2: Bed
6. Einstein On The Beach: Act 2, Scene 2: Night Train13. Einstein On The Beach: Act 4, Scene 3: Spaceship
7. Einstein On The Beach: Knee Play 314. Einstein On The Beach: Knee Play 5

 

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MUSICAL NOTES

Artist: Philip Glass

Released: August 24, 1979

Availability: CD, Vinyl

Awards: 


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