psychochicken

Philip Glass

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Akhnaten tickets now on public sale. Just picked up a couple for the final night :oj:

I saw that at the ENO many years ago - fabulous!! :^

I hope someone has the nouse to do a full commercial video recording. :upgrade:

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New Flash.

This is hot off the press: Gidon Kremer has just released Glass' Violin Concerto No.2 on DG label.

http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/DG/4794817

I've downloaded it at 24 bit 192 Khz and it is excellent. Different tempos from the McDuffie - Alsop - LSO version.

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Well, I'm back from my jaunt to the big smoke to see the last night of ENO's production of Akhnaten. Front row middle of dress circle, accompanied by a beautiful woman, pockets emptied by price of ticket, trip to London and craving of beautiful woman for champagne. What a great night :D

This was a bucket list event for me, a year in anticipation, and it delivered on expectations :^ Thankfully the threats of the chorus to go on strike during Act I did not come to fruition...

Interesting comparisons to my LP box set from CBS Masterworks. For some reason the orchestra sounded smaller and much more of a support to the 'theater', having read Glass' autobiography and his view of himself as a composer of theater music this worked in practice, the performance containing a fair bit of theatre including a juggling theme throughout the opera, Akhnaten getting his kit off (the elderly woman beside the countess got her opera glasses out at this point!) and some fairly stunning visuals.

The highlight for us was Act I scene 3 The Window of Appearances which involved some light sabre type things being carried on, initially deep red then brightening through a sunrise while being moved around including into some sun rays patterns around Akhnaten before being linked into a square window around him and becoming bright white - it was jaw droppingly effective, one of the best bits of theatre I've seen and worked perfectly with the music. Another real stand out in this performance was the narrator, a much more dramatic delivery than on my recording, matched by some very effective acting, it really brought the drama out in a number of the scenes and he was a real star of the performance, particuarly in the final Act.

Wasn't too sure about some of the costumes, overheard lots of discussions about these in the intervals and these seemed to divide opinion.

It was all over far too fast, the final jewel in the crown being an appearance by Glass himself on stage at the end - though he did get a bit near the edge of the stage a few times and I had visions of him tumbling into the orchestra pit :shock:

I saw that at the ENO many years ago - fabulous!! :^

I hope someone has the nouse to do a full commercial video recording. :upgrade:

Sadly it seems not Jerry, though I noted that a performance from earlier in the week had been recorded and a quick scan of Radio 3 schedules shows it's being aired this Saturday at 6:30. I would have preferred it to be released commercially so I could have a copy of it rather than just getting another listen but oh well :)

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Sounds like a great night!

One thing I noticed from the ENO production I attended decades ago is that it was MUCH slower (and hence more effective) than the CBS/Sony recording which is quite rushed in comparison.

How were the speeds at your event, Phil?

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It seemed very well timed to me; I was in the stalls row D with my very own princess (my wife). Being on the ENO access list I can buy 2 tickets for the price of 1.

Absolutely stunning theatre. The counter-tenor was superb, both in voice and acting. I thought his death scene was very well done. The scribe was a highlight perfomance too, his voice projection was so dramatic. So glad that I was able to get to see this at long last.

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How were the speeds at your event, Phil?

Good question... I'm not sure how reliable my memory is as I didn't think about this at the time. My memory now is that they varied but I'm pretty sure some scenes, lparticularly in the first Act were slower but nothing radical. Might be completely wrong though!

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OK.

I went to an ENO production before the CBS recording came out, probably entirely different to the current ENO one.

I was quite shocked and very disappointed at first how much faster the recording's pacing was.

There was an ethereal magic to that ENO production that is missed.

I'm used to it now, though

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