Beach Body

Music from Philip Glass

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Monday, September 10, 2012

This week on the New Canon, we celebrate the return of Einstein on the Beach to the Brooklyn Academy of Music with a listen to the opera's 1984 recording, recently reissued in highlights form on Orange Mountain Music. 

There's something religious about the opening chords of Einstein, and to that end it's no surprise that Glass's opera (his first, written in collaboration with theatrical iconoclast Robert Wilson) has generated a cult-like following. And while a fresh crop of musicians—not to mention some familiar faces—descending upon BAM this month to relive the work for the first time in 20 years, there's a quality that leaves the work's initial recording disarmingly timeless, meditative, galvanizing, and soothing.

The opera may be four-and-a-half intermissionless hours, but Orange Mountain Music (Glass's own label) has fashioned a palatable 77-minute reduction of the recording and it's this excerpted version that we focus on this week. Consider it an amuse-bouche for the main course later this week, or a dessert following last week's Q2 Music/Philip Glass festival, Music of Constant Change.

Hosted by:

Olivia Giovetti

Comments [1]

Not to split hairs here, but technically the 1984 recording just reissued (in full on iTunes, in highlights on the OMM CD/DVD set) is *not* the original recording; the first one is the 1978 recording on Tomato / CBS Masterworks:

The new recording was recorded live from the opera's 1984 revival at BAM, and is the third recording of 'Einstein' to date.

Sep. 10 2012 10:30 AM

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