|Act I: everyone laments unwise choices
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Saturday, September 15, 2012
"There are no extra notes in the music; there are no notes that don't belong. There are only the notes that I need." --Philip Glass (Writings on Glass)Attending a performance of Einstein on the Beach, a work where the importance of subjectivity in its reception is deliberately highlighted, was an exhilarating prospect, but also one that conferred on me a sense of special responsibility. I read scholarly essays and listened to a recording and read the work's texts; in the week preceding the opening of Einstein's run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, I read pieces in the New Yorker and on BAM's blog. In my reading I found the work defined as minimalist and non-minimalist, modernist and postmodernist; as a work that could barely be counted as an opera, and as a work that redefined the parameters of the genre. Having seen it, I'd be tempted to call it a deliberately disassembled Gesamtkunstwerk (with apologies to Brecht.) This is not to say that it seems disjointed; its episodic structure is given impulsion and an internal logic of sorts by the music, and the intimate connection of the score to the choreography. The work is rich and strange, allusive, mystifying, and hypnotic.