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Wednesday, October 15, 2008


320 KBPS

The three operas comprising Glass' trilogy are something special, but this disc of arias from those three operas is even better. The selections themselves, the pacing of the sequencing, and absolutely top-drawer performances make this a standout disc. It's a great introduction disc for those seeking to learn more about Philip Glass's operas without having to invest in the full length recordings, although Akhnaten especially is a masterpiece and more than worthy of the price for the complete opera. I've given this disc to many friends and received only grateful raves, even from those already familiar with Glass' music. Douglas Perry's singing deserves special mention; his singing of Evening Song from Satyagraha is perfect in every way, with immaculate phrasing and a kind of passion of restraint that is mesmerizing. Glass' intentions are deceptive to the ear; he is master of a simplicity that keeps giving. The selections from Einstein on the Beach are richly complex; even after years of listening, new directions continue to appear in the score, each time revealing another dimension, an idea not really noticed before will suddenly become clear and engaging, creating a wonderfully familiar listening experience. Beautiful stuff. The melismatic Bed aria from Einstein on the Beach is a joy, heartbreaking as it is. Milagro Vargas contributes passionate singing in the Window of Appearances, and some marvelous ensemble singing is generously spread throughout the entire disc. Glass' best work may be found in his opera scores, and this disc presents the cream of the cream. Check it for yourself. You won't be disappointed.

1. Protest from Satyagraha
2. Evening Song from Satyagraha
3. Hymn To The Sun from Akhnaten
4. Trial - Prison from Einstein on the Beach
5. Akhnaten And Nefertiti from Akhnaten
6. Kuru Field Of Justice from Satyagraha
7. Knee 1 from Einstein on the Beach
8. Tolstoy Farm from Satyagraha
9. Window Of Appearances from Akhnaten
10. Bed from Einstein on the Beach
11. Epilogue from Akhnaten
12. Knee 5 from Einstein on the Beach

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