Musical themes of Einstein on the Beach

Introduction  
Einstein on the Beach scenes  
Einstein on the Beach themes and extracts  


Introduction

Einstein on the Beach, opera in four acts, was created in 1976 from the collaboration of Philip Glass et de Robert Wilson. It is divided in three visuel themes, which are also composed of three scenes: It also includes five pieces called Knee Plays at the begining and at the end of the work, and between the acts.

I took an interest in two of these three themes: Train and Trial, and in the Knee Plays used in each of them, thanks to scores and audio recordings (which last between 15 and 20 seconds and require an Ogg Vorbis capable player). All spoken texts are also available.

Extracts have been taken from Einstein on the Beach, Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, The Philip Glass Ensemble conducted by Michael Riesman, Elektra Nonesuch.


Einstein on the Beach scenes

The opera is divided into 9 scenes and 5 knee plays:
[scene drawing] KNEE PLAY 1   (Chorus and electric organ)
texts
[scene drawing] Act 1 Scene 1 TRAIN
(ensemble with solo voice ans chorus joining at the end)
texts
[scene drawing] Scene 2 TRIAL
(chorus, violin, electric organ and flutes)
texts
[scene drawing] KNEE PLAY 2   (Violin solo)
texts
[scene drawing] Act 2 Scene 1 DANCE 1 - Field with Spaceship
(ensemble with solo voice/dancers)
[scene drawing] Scene 2 NIGHT TRAIN
(2 voices, chorus and small ensemble)
[scene drawing] KNEE PLAY 3   (Chorus a capella)
[scene drawing] Act 3 Scene 1 TRIAL 2/PRISON
(chorus and electric organ, ensemble at the end)
texts
[scene drawing] Scene 2 DANCE 2 - Field with Spaceship
(6 voices, violin, electric organ)
[scene drawing] KNEE PLAY 4   (Chorus and violin)
[scene drawing] Act 4 Scene 1 BUILDING/TRAIN
(chorus and ensemble)
[scene drawing] Scene 2 BED
(solo electric organ and voice)
[scene drawing] Scene 3 SPACESHIP
(chorus and ensemble)
[scene drawing] KNEE PLAY 5   (Women's chorus, violin and electric organ)
texts
(drawings by Robert Wilson.)


Einstein on the Beach themes and extracts

The extracts that illustrate each theme are the following:
Scenes Extracts Knee Train Trial Field
Knee 1            

[play ogg] la-sol-do (4+6+8)      

[play ogg] la-sol-do (4+6+8)      
Act 1 scene 1: Train 1            

[play ogg]   theme 1    

[play ogg]   theme 2    

[play ogg]   theme 3    
Act 1 scene 2: Trial 1            
Entrance [play ogg]     theme 1  
"Mr. Bojangles" [play ogg]     theme 1  

[play ogg]     theme 1  
"All men are equal" [play ogg]     theme 2  
Knee 2            

[play ogg] Train theme 3 bis      

[play ogg]       scale
Act 2 scene 1: Dance 1            
Act 2 scene 2: Night Train            

[play ogg]   theme 1    

[play ogg]   theme 1    
Knee 3            

[play ogg] la-sol-do (3+3+6)      

[play ogg] Train theme 3 bis      
Act 3 scene 1: Trial 2/Prison            
"Prematurely Air-Conditioned Supermarket" [play ogg]     theme 1  
Ensemble [play ogg]     theme 3  

[play ogg]     theme 3  
"I Feel The Earth Move" [play ogg]     theme 2  
Act 3 scene 2: Dance 2            
Knee 4            

[play ogg] la-sol-do (3+3+6)      

[play ogg] la-sol-do (3+3+6)      

[play ogg] la-sol-do (3+3+6)      

[play ogg] Train theme 3 bis      
Act 4 scene 1: Building            

[play ogg]   theme 2    

[play ogg]   theme 3    
Act 4 scene 2: Bed            
Prelude [play ogg]     theme 1  
Aria [play ogg]     theme 2  
Act 4 scene 3: Spaceship            

[play ogg]   theme 3    

[play ogg]       scale
Knee 5            

[play ogg] la-sol-do (4+6+8)      

[play ogg] la-sol-do (3+3+6)      

[play ogg] la-sol-do (3+3+6)      

[play ogg] la-sol-do (3+3+6)      


Extracts have been taken from Einstein on the Beach, Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, The Philip Glass Ensemble conducted by Michael Riesman, Elektra Nonesuch.

This document was generated by Nicolas Sceaux on May, 13 2002 using texi2html
Copyright 2002 by Nicolas Sceaux