(Reposted from last year due to this past weekend’s debut of the newest (and likely last) incarnation of this production, a sold-out preview run in Ann Arbor before moving to France in March.You can read a synopsis of that Ann Arbor preview on the Detroit News website…http://bit.ly/xo27zL)
I believe I have previously mentioned an occasional penchant for buying classic and/or opera titles. And again, I have no idea why as I truly know next-to-nothing (okay, really, nothing) about either of the genres. But I do personally like quite a bit of atonal-leaning 20th Century compositions, and typically the more minimal, the better. However, there is one wing of minimalism that I just have a hard time wrapping my head around, and that would be operatic and/or choral pieces. Just. Can’t. Hang.
That said, I would refer to “Einstein On The Beach” as a bit of an exception. It’s a pretty over-whelming composition, the longest operatic piece that Glass has written to date, and it takes up eight sides of vinyl to present it . So, how much rhythmic repetitiveness are you up for? (My wife just called in to say – emphatically – “none”). Strap yourself in (or down, maybe), because you’re in for a long, long listen.
“Einstein…” has been issued on two separate occasions, and this is the original, albeit slightly abridged version from 1979 (as a result of the space limitation of vinyl, there was some editing of the some of the opening scene’s repeats). It was also re-recorded in 1993, with 30 minutes of additional music, due to ahem, technological innovation (that is, the compact disc).
And the original 1979 version was issued twice on vinyl, first by Tomato Records and then shortly thereafter by CBS Masterworks in the UK. The vinyl was actually pressed in the Netherlands, and is both the scarcer and the better sounding of the two versions; vinyl, original lined Masterworks inners and 24-page 12×12 libretto are housed in a very nice, very shiny hinged box, with hinge completely intact. Box has some light general wear, including a small scuff on the front bottom. Otherwise, all components in killer shape; vinyl is exceptional. $60.