News & Reviews
- Thursday, October 25, 2012
Philip Glass, Robert Wilson's "Einstein on the Beach" Makes West Coast Debut with Three Sold-Out Berkeley Performances
Philip Glass and Robert Wilson's groundbreaking opera Einstein on the Beach receives its West Coast premiere, nearly four decades after it was first performed, with three sold-out performances at Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall this weekend. PBS Newshour marked the occasion with a look at this groundbreaking work and the career of its composer, which you can watch here. This weekend's performances of Einstein on the Beach are part of a major international tour that heads next to Mexico City, Amsterdam, and Hong Kong.
- Friday, September 14, 2012
Philip Glass and Robert Wilson's Einstein on the Beach, widely credited as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century, launched its creators to international success when it was first produced in Avignon, France, in 1976. Now, 20 years since its last production, as part of an international tour, Einstein on the Beach returns to New York with eight performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), tonight through September 23.
About this Album
Music in Twelve Parts, written by Philip Glass between 1971 and 1974, is a deliberate, encyclopedic compendium of some techniques of repetition the composer had been evolving since the mid 1960s. It holds an important place in Glass's repertory—not only from a historical vantage point (as the longest and most ambitious concert piece for the Philip Glass Ensemble) but from a purely aesthetic standard as well, because Music in Twelve Parts is both a massive theoretical exercise and a deeply engrossing work of art. This evening-length piece, presented here on three CDs, represents, according to Glass himself, the culmination of his Minimalist period. The New York Times calls it "monumental" and recommends this set as the best recorded version of Glass's landmark work.
After the piece's 2009 West Coast premiere, some 35 years delayed, the San Jose Mercury News exclaimed that with Music in Twelve Parts, Glass's writing leads "toward a new euphoric breakthrough." The paper described it this way: "There is a Baroque intricacy at work, a micro-level of interlocking gears, as well as a larger, tranced-out story line: the landscape, the percolating groove, the spaciousness of the piece, which feels improvisational, related to pulsing, early '70s jams by, say, Miles Davis or even the Grateful Dead."
"For a full-body immersion in the early compositional world of Philip Glass, you can't do much better than Music in Twelve Parts," says the San Francisco Chronicle. The issues the composer addresses in the piece "are endlessly productive and nuanced. And to hear a composer lay out his palette in such richly evocative detail is a rare and rewarding delight."
The Philip Glass Ensemble
Michael Reisman, musical director, keyboards
Lisa Bielawa, voice
Jon Gibson, soprano saxophone, flute
Philip Glass, Martin Goldray, keyboards
Richard Peck, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
Andrew Sterman, flute, soprano saxophone
Produced by Kurt Munkacsi and Michael Reisman
Recorded March-June 1993 at The Looking Glass Studios, NYC
Engineers: James Law, Dante DeSole
Assistant Engineer: Skoti Elliott
Mixed by Michael Reisman at The Looking Glass Studios
Design John Gall
Cover photograph by Robert Mapplethorpe