Glass: Einstein on the Beach
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Top Customer Reviews
If you are a first timer, new to Glass and Wilsons mammoth opera, get the other recording. The musicians are more "fluent in the language," the tempo and feel is smoother throughout and the mix is superior. One problem, the Nonesuch recording, in all its technical ease, is just less exciting. This Sony recording was recorded in the late seventies, when Einstein was new, fresh, and revolutionary. The tempos are generally faster (most noticably in "knee play 3 and and "Building/Train").
Also, I fear that Ashley Pomeroy's review below is misleading. The music IS NOT the same. Quite a bit of reorchestration and rewriting occured between these two recordings. "Building/Train" was originally scored with organ as the main insturment, not violin. Much of the spoken text is different as is Richard Peck's solo in the "Building/Train" scene. The experienced listener will also be able to detect NUMEROUS rewrites (most conspicuous to me was the 9ths and 7ths played by the flute in the "Train" scene giving an otherwise mechanized (and frankly, rather dull) scene a dreamy, cushioned feel.
All in all though, the sudden drop-outs of insturments, the lack of a click-track and the annoying four disc (with no track breaks for the "Trial", Trial/Prison" and "Bed" scenes forces me to give this three stars. Still, if you love Einstein like I do, you will want both recordings.
Musically there's no real difference between this and the follow-up - the performers here are the original cast, and the organs and so forth are a lot more artificial-sounding, but that adds to the atmosphere. Apart from the truncated ending, it's hard to notice the different lengths, and the performances seem more 'real' and less rehearsed here, although the players have obviously been trained to within inches of their lives.
Which one to buy? The sleeve-notes are copious and useful in both cases, the packaging is equally solid (although this is in a hard plastic case, whereas the follow-up is in card), the weights and chemical compositions are roughly equivalent, so it's best to go by price and availability, really.
If you like Einstein on the Beach, absolutely get a recording. If you are curious about Philip Glass and want a representative sample of his best music, absolutely get a recording. Just get the other one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well, I have not received this item but the one recorded on 1979 by CBS.In any case a wonderful set of records used by in very good conditions. Read morePublished on August 17, 2012 by Mario Lucarda Blanch
I came to this recording having heard a few snippets of "Einstein on the Beach" but still unfamiliar with the work as a whole. Read morePublished on March 17, 2011 by T. Fisher
First of all, let me say that I have fallen in love with this Opera and though it is Glass' 1st, it is my favorite. Read morePublished on January 16, 2010 by A. Ives
Unlike other commenters, I think it is a meaningless gesture to compare this work to that of other composers with both different styles and different artistic goals. Read morePublished on April 26, 2000 by gtra1n
My first exposure to Philip Glass and Robert wilson's work was in a "History of Modern Theatre" class. Read morePublished on May 15, 1999
As a theatre educator, I instruct sessions with students on performance art. "Einstein on the Beach" was a groundbreaking work in the genre when it premiered in the late... Read morePublished on January 20, 1999
Glass' opera is a monument to minimalism and is worth a listen-if you can stand it. Endless arpeggios-almost four hours worth! Read morePublished on November 2, 1998