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Glass / Wilson: Einstein on the Beach, Highlights / Changing Image of Opera [CD+DVD]

Philip Glass , Robert Wilson , Michael Riesman , Philip Glass Ensemble , Lucinda Childs Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Price: $14.73 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Glass / Wilson: Einstein on the Beach, Highlights / Changing Image of Opera + Rework-Philip Glass Remixed
Price for both: $28.48

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Product Details

  • Performer: Lucinda Childs
  • Orchestra: Philip Glass Ensemble
  • Conductor: Michael Riesman
  • Composer: Philip Glass, Robert Wilson
  • Audio CD (September 4, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD+DVD
  • Label: Orange Mountain Music
  • ASIN: B009173UBY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,021 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Knee Play No.1
2. Train
3. Trial Part 1
4. Trial Part 2
5. Trial Part 3
6. Knee Play No.2
7. Dance No.1
8. Night Train
9. Knee Play no.3
10. Trial-Prison Part 1
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. The Changing Image of Opera

Editorial Reviews

In celebration of the 2012 revival of Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Orange Mountain Music and BAM present Einstein on the Beach as a one CD highlight collection of the entire opera, with a companion DVD of the film The Changing Image of Opera affordably priced and available for the first time. This never-before-heard recording is drawn from live performances at BAM in 1984 and produced by Kurt Munkacsi. The Chris A. Verges film The Changing Image of Opera documents the 1984 production at BAM and has never received wide distribution. This OMM recording hopes to bring this exciting package to the public at a reasonable price.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Those were the days my friend September 21, 2012
As Philip Glass's Einstein on the Beach is currently undergoing a revival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, I'm reminded of when I saw it there in 1984, the second series of performances after its initial run in 1976. This 4 1/2 hour "opera" is a combination of music, dance and visuals, and was truly unforgettable. Over the years, I've collected the different recordings of the work.

First was the 1978 Tomato Records set, later released on CBS Masterworks, then Sony. At 160 minutes, this was greatly reduced from the full work. Later, in 1993, a Nonesuch recording, on CD, was 190 minutes long, still a lot shorter than the entire work.

But until now, no recording was released of the 1984 performances. Philip Glass's Orange Mountain Music has done that now, in two versions. This release, a CD and DVD set, contains a 77-minute CD of "highlights" of the work, along with a DVD of a documentary, The Changing Image of Opera, made during the 1984 production, but rarely seen. The second is a 217-minute "complete" recording, available only by download on the iTunes Store (at least for now), and is the most complete recording to date.

The 1984 recording has several advantages over the others. First, it's a live recording, showing much better how the work actually sounded. Second, there is no attempt to make the sound lush and rich, as on the Nonesuch recording, which, again, brings it closer to its performance.

The disadvantage of this release is its brevity. If you're just tangentially interested in Glass and Einstein, these 77 minutes do give a good overview of the main musical themes of the work, but if you find you like this work, you need to get the longer release. However, the documentary included here is certainly worth the price of the set.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glass / Einstein April 24, 2013
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Order this for the DVD and download the "full" opera recording from the other virtual music place. It is better (more like a live performance and not so glossy) as the Nonesuch recording and more complete than the Tomato / Sony vinyl then CD recording of the original.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Souvenir December 2, 2013
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I wanted a 'souvenir' of the LA Opera performance of Einstein, and this serves the purpose well. I thought the music was much better (more ecstatic, more poignant, more whatever) in person, especially the sax soloist in the building scene, and Jennifer Koh's virtuosic violin playing, but this is one piece where a highlights recording makes a lot of sense. Without the visuals to go with them, the abbreviated pieces are about right. The video 'The Changing Image of Opera' is a great bonus. I watched a lot of it on YouTube before going to the performance, and having the background made it much more enjoyable.

Interestingly, I wanted to do my homework to know which bits I could safely miss and which I wanted to be sure to catch. Instead, I ended up glued to the performance from start to finish.

Anyway, I got exactly what I hoped for in this recording. For those who haven't had the chance to see the real deal, this will be kind of like watching the circus through a knothole in the fence. It gives you a taste, but definitely not the whole meal.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Though this release only gives highlights from the very long piece of musical theater called EINSTEIN ON THE BEACH, in some ways it is actually preferable to sitting through four and a half hours without breaks as the work is currently being performed in Los Angeles for the LA OPERA, using the same forces as those on this recording (the Philip Glass Ensemble has been touring the USA, playing in major cities - a true gift for those of us who have not had the opportunity to see/hear it). The work is important historically and in the flow of music history. Oddly the one person who is never mentioned along with Glass and Wilson (and Lucinda Childs, choreographer) is Christopher Knowles whose randomly placed words and numbers are present throughout the long evening.

This is an odd piece - a work that takes some ideas from Einstein's brain (including his involvement with the Manhattan Project that built the first Atomic Bomb) and bounces them around in strange ways (extended trial scenes, a space ship, dancing that goes on forever with only minimal changes in sequence exactly the way Einstein imagined motion and energy and mass, a woman who goes on forever about seeing beach caps in red, yellow and blue but remembering that she had decide to avoid the beach, etc). The music is of course repetitious in the Glassian fashion, but in this work the lack of variation becomes tiring. The stage movement, sets, and the visual concepts are visually spectacular - the moment of truth is the scene that subtly addresses the bomb - but sadly the work ends with a sappy little repeated speech about love. That sort of pops the sphere of experimental theater like a balloon gone limp.

An important piece yes, but this release gives the novice plenty of material to experience the work - without the need for a seat cushion. It is like experiencing The Ring of Wagner in its entirety - an important event to see at least once. Grady Harp, October 13
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