Philip Glass/Robert Wilson - Einstein on the Beach (1979)


This is a bizarre and relentless opera-as the surreal title implies, more dream than drama. The first train episode, over 20 minutes long, remains mind-blowing in its relentlessness. The impact is heightened by the vividness of the recording, with spoken voices in particular given such presence that they startled me as if someone had burst into the room. The vision remains an odd one, but with a formidable group of vocalists and instrumentalists brilliantly directed, often from the keyboard, by Michael Riesman, the recording certainly justifies itself.

An opera in 4 parts for ensemble chorus soloists. The so called knee play of this much spoken about opera serves as a recurring motive throughout the piece reaching its emotional apex in the second half of knee play 5 with its lovely violin piece and transcendent poetry embellishing all that is true in the human heart.

7 Responses so far.

  1. G says:

    128kpbs for this?
    not chill bro

  2. ill! says:

    i have it at 192k and it sounds fine. pick it up, it's essential listening.

  3. Murphey says:

    Not to be a dick, but it's 'motif' not 'motive.

  4. Lana says:

    God I love this opera. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Wow, thanks! Listening to it now...unbelievably hypnotic & nuts! I am getting hold of every Philip Glass album i can now! He's incredible! I love Dracula and Glassworks.

  6. Listening now to his " 1000 Airplanes on the Roof". Frigging awesome & haunting, menacing brilliance!!

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