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Audio CD, February 1, 2000
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$26.64 $30.52

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Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Friends15:00Album Only
listen  2. Theosophy 9:57Album Only
listen  3. The Priest 9:57Album Only
listen  4. If there's anything ... 9:57Album Only
listen  5. The Little Gun 9:58Album Only
listen  6. Friends 2:51Album Only
listen  7. No Legs 8:34Album Only

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Don't Get Your Hopes Up 6:03Album Only
listen  2. Just One More Time 6:56Album Only
listen  3. It's Easy 4:37Album Only
listen  4. The Angel of Loneliness 5:06Album Only

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Product Details

  • Performer: Sam Ashley, Thomas Buckner, Jacqueline Humbert, Joan LaBarbara , "Blue" Gene Tyranny , Tom Hamilton Robert Ashley
  • Composer: Robert Ashley
  • Audio CD (February 1, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Lovely Music
  • ASIN: B00004DS24
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #334,259 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


"Ashleys music works in the theater, greatly enhancing a very fine libretto. This was one of those evenings where every element (score, libretto, production, and performance) worked impressively, and the combined effect was deeply moving. It has been a while since I have spent an evening with my attention so completely riveted to the stage. The Kitchen takes risks, and sometimes fails. Its successes, like this one, are bigger and better than everybody elses." -- James L. Paulk, New Music Connoisseur, Summer 1999

"The true music in "Dust" is in the language and its delivery." -- New York Times, April 19, 1999

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 1, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Dust is called an opera, but it is worlds away from archaic plots and bel canto singing. Against a background of ambient electronic textures, Ashley and his ensemble sing-narrate their story in ordinary American speech without a trace of artifice.
A group of homeless persons live in a city park. Their lives have crumbled and several are mentally ill, but they take turns narrating the memories of the central figure in their group, a veteran who has lost his legs in a foreign war. The memories are those of an average kid growing up in Detroit who had several encounters (some funny, some frightening) that he wasn't quite prepared to deal with at the time.
At the center of the opera and underlying the other parts is the veteran's defining moment, when he was given a large dose of morphine on the battlefield, and God spoke to him and revealed for an instant the key that would end all suffering everywhere. Now he mourns the passing of that unrecoverable moment and tries to describe what he was told.
Several Ashley operas have metaphysical resonances, but never so movingly as here.
Robert Ashley is 70 years old and just keeps getting better. How is that possible?
Note: there have been two packages of this music, one with the libretto in a booklet and one without. The printed words are worth having.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert English on November 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first heard this on the radio one night (thank God for college radio stations), and thought at first that I was hearing a more mature work from the synthesizer band TuxedoMoon. It has the same sort of mesmerizing music and haunting intellectual lyric content that they were known for, yet this comes from a more practiced hand of a 70-year-young classical composer. It was a very pleasant surprise, and (now that I have a copy of my own) continues to delight every time I listen to it.
As can be heard from the samples that Amazon has provided, this opera starts out as a running narrative with a hypnotic synthesizer backdrop -- gradually working up to a critical mass of discordance in "No Legs", then easing into a very melodic ending - the last 20 minutes are pure gold, and it's a shame that Amazon has chosen to not sample that part.
This performance doesn't just push the envelope of what "classical" means, it re-invents the concept without destroying what came before. That's evidence of a creative genius at work. Though (as I've pointed out) Ashley is not the only one writing synthesizer-based operatic works, his is some of the most meaningful I've heard.
One last thing to mention: the version I got from Amazon does, in fact, include the liberetto.
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