As Philip Glass pointed out to me in a recent interview, the master tape of his Gandhi opera, Satyagraha, was cut with CD (and cassette) in mind; to fit the music on to LP, a certain amount of gentle pruning was simply unavoidable. Admittedly the difference in playing time between the carriers is slight, and in any case you might wonder whether the odd cut makes that much difference to such repetitive music. The answer, surprisingly, is that it can and sometimes does. To take as an example the final few minutes of Act 2 scene 1 ( ''Confrontation and Rescue, 1896''), the series of descents—jolts, almost, from the prevailing tonality—follow on from one another in quicker succession on LP than on CD, where the music is allowed to stabilizeRead more once more before the final thrusts downward eventually bring the movement to an agonized end. . . .
Unlike Einstein on the Beach, this is a score that makes complete sense without its stage action. Despite its statuesque qualities, there is a story of sorts, together with fully-fledged roles for soloists and chorus, and ample opportunity for characterization. The music, too, is more conventionally illustrative of mood and set (most graphically and spectacularly in Act 2, scene 2, ''Indian Opinion, 1906'', which brilliantly mimics the action of the printing presses). Einstein might feasibly be purged of some of its less absorbing passages for home listening, but Satyagraha must be heard in its totality.
Satyagrahaby Philip Glass Performer:
Douglas Perry (Tenor),
Claudia Cummings (Soprano),
Rhonda Liss (Alto),
Robert McFarland (Baritone),
Scott Reeve (Bass),
Sheryl Woods (Soprano)
New York City Opera Orchestra,
New York City Opera Chorus
Period: 20th Century Written: 1977-1978; USA Venue: RCA Recording Studios, New York City Length: 123 Minutes 9 Secs. Notes: This work is performed in Sanskrit.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
I Keep Listening April 1, 2014By Tom A. (Lansing, MI)See All My Reviews"For many years Hydrogen Jukebox was my only exposure to Glass. Recently I came across Einstein on the Beach (1993). That led me to Satyagraha. All three are mesmerizing and very listenable. If you are taking a long flight or a road trip, bring these along to make the trip to seem shorter. The cds are getting hard to find and don't seem to be in the catalog of some of the music subscription services."Report Abuse
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