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Philip Glass : The Voyage: An Opera in Three Acts Import

12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, June 20, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Voyage combines the eccentricity of "Einstein on the Beach" and the monumentality of "Satyagraha"." --Allen Kozinn, The New York Times, March 20, 1996


1. Act II Scene 2
2. Act III Scene 1
3. Act III Scene 2
4. Act III Scene 3
5. Act I Scene 2 Conclusion
6. Act I Scene 3
7. Act II Scene 1

Product Details

  • Performer: Landestheater Linz
  • Orchestra: Bruckner Orchester Linz
  • Conductor: Dennis Russell Davies
  • Composer: Philip Glass
  • Audio CD (June 20, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Orange Mountain Music
  • ASIN: B000GFK8ME
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,997 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By David J. Huber VINE VOICE on January 17, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was at the World Premiere for this opera - my first time to be in the Met Opera House, my first time to be at a Philip Glass premiere, in the first month after I moved to New York City. No better welcome to New York City than the opportunity to see this at the Met AND to see a revival of Einstein on the Beach at BAM a month later.

I have awaited this recording for years - The Voyage is some of Glass' best music for orchestra and voice. It's powerful, lyrical, triumphant, tender, introspective, and gorgeous at various times. The libretto is a artistic and well-done exploration of what "exploration" is, and what drives so many human hearts to wonder "What's over there....?"

While all of Glass' music is worth having, on the scale of "what should the new fan buy first?", I'd put this in the first five of essential Glass compositions to know.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ricardo Francis on July 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Philip Glass' latest recording "The Voyage" is indeed one of the composers' most brilliant works for the stage. The opera is an oblique portrait of Christopher Columbus and its main theme is not set on him per se but more on discovery itself. Along with writer David Henry Hwang and the expert conducting of Dennis Russel Davies with the Landestheater Linz, "The Voyage" creates a real adventure in both sound and in imagination.

The plot of the opera is best described as a pageant of poetic questions of man's quest of the unknown. The opera's empassioned Prologue features a scientist and chorus posing questions about the universe, the first act is set on an alien spaceship crashing into Earth during the Ice Age, its crew members subsequently exploring their personal callings on the new planet. The second act is set on Columbus' 32nd day at sea. Here with his crew and Queen Isabella (who is only presnt in his thoughts), the composer presents a dreamy reflection of the many hopes and fears of this uncertain voyage at sea. The third act is set in 2092 at the launch of a space shuttle with astronauts seeking out radio signals from a distant planet. The opera ends with Columbus on his deathbed. He again with Queens Isabella share a final aria in which he clearly states his intentions as an explorer.

Musically the work is standard Glass. However though his chugging rythyms and ever present reams of arrepegios are also coupled here with subtle experimentations in harmony, disonance, and irregular timbres. Throughout the opera themes flow in and out of a sort of aural tapestry creating a sense of dramatic tension that is usually not present in Glass' work.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marvin Cohodas on October 29, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Philip Glass' The Voyage, which premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in 1992, is a grand and truly great opera. It should be in the standard repertoire of every opera theatre in the world, and this recording by OMM, serves it superbly well.

The multi-layered libretto, by David Henry Hwang analyzes the search for knowledge as a basic human need, exceeding limitations, but with a cost to oneself or to others. The prologue with a wheelchair-bound scientist introduces the quest with a graphic description of physical limitations from which the questioning mind seeks liberation. The next four scenes (Acts one to three and an Epilogue) alternate imagery of space travel, where the cost is to oneself, and Columbus' voyage, where the cost was mostly to others.

In the first space travel section, Act I, explorers crash land on earth. The theme of four crystals is introduced which appear to represent components of human society. Three of these are technology or science, arts, and religion or spirituality. The fourth, curiosity or the quest for knowledge is saved for the spaceship commander. In her encounter with cave-dwelling earthlings, a colonial encounter is examined from both sides, as the commander and the earthlings each wonder what the other will want from them and how they will be treated. Each fears they will be overwhelmed by the other.

The second exploration of the space travel theme comprises Act III, which takes place 600 years after Columbus' voyage, 100 years after the opera's premiere. The lineup of world leaders attending the launch may have seemed odd in 1992, but 14 years later it seems prescient.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By R. Guerin on July 17, 2006
Format: Audio CD
For fans of Philip Glass's theater work, THE VOYAGE is long overdue. Glass was only the second composer in the history of the Metropolitan Opera to be commissioned at the time of The Voyage's premiere, which was for the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Columbus's arrival in the New World.

Rather that fester in the neeless and meaninless debate about Columbus (i.e. he didn't "discover" anything, he brought pain and suffering to the natives, his arrival was a harbinger for many other bad things to come). These issues to not go unnoticed by Glass, as they are often acknowledged in the text by David Henry Hwang, but Glass chose instead to focus on the romantic notion of Columbus's life: "what drives people to leave their homes and safety in order to go out and explore?".

It is this sense of venerating the explorer's spirit that drives the opera. The Prologue is delivered by a Scientist (stephen hawking(another exploer of the universe)) musing about the nature of time and space.

The three Acts of the opera, which sometime allude to events in Columbus's life, take place in three episodes. Act I is science fiction: a tale of explorers of the universe arriving at earth 500 years before Colmbus' Voyage. They crash and their Captain (a woman) has a culture clash with the Natives who carry her away.

Act II has Columbus interacting with Queen Isabella before he sets out on his trip. She promises him riches and the glory of God for the Voyage he is about to take. This is quickly then seen as a memory COlumbus is having on his boat the day before he arrives in the New World.

Act III is 1000 year later, as a rocket ship prepares to launch, dignitaries of the Universe see to the departure.
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