Not Content with Mere Concept

My analysis of Phil Glass’s Einstein on the Beach is now up at New Music Box, thanks to Frank Oteri.

Comments

  1. says

    Hey Kyle,
    I meant to leave this comment when you posted your analysis, but I found it so late. But here it is again. I was wondering if it might not have been more fruitful to analyze the concert piece “Another Look at Harmony.” It was always my understanding that the music for Einstein was a theatrical reworking of ALH, and thus was full of non-compositional related edits. While ALH was the pure music composition. Or perhaps I’m mistaken.

    KG replies: Hi Miguel. I suppose there are always more fruitful things one could have done than what one did. 1. Given that I was invited to Amsterdam to give a paper on Einstein on the Beach at an Einstein on the Beach conference and that Bard paid transportation and housing because of the invitation, and that I really like going to Amsterdam for free, I don’t think anything else I could have done would have been more fruitful given what I wanted to achieve. 2. I don’t have a score to ALH. 3. That’s not the impression I get from what I’ve heard of ALH, which is only Part IV. 4. One of the things that the conference made me decide was that EotB remains fresher and more exciting than Glass’s later operas because its continuity is not so strictly musical, that it was designed to fit a theatrical scenario rather than to set a libretto. So given the limited rewards of my academic life, I’m glad I did what I did.

  2. Bob Gilmore says

    Miguel, it always seems to me a dubious sort of “criticism” to criticise somebody for what they haven’t done. I think the time Kyle spent on his analysis was extremely “fruitful”. (Besides, Part 4 of ALH has always seemed pretty boring to me; Einstein is so much richer and more exciting.)

  3. says

    I guess that will be the last time I use the word “fruitful,” as it seems to have detracted from my main point of concert vs. theater music which Kyle addressed quite well in his reply.

    KG replies: Forgiven.