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Nick Shave
BBC Music Magazine, March 2018


Pleasing, mesmerising, irritating… While devoid of explicit emotional expression, Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach provokes many responses over its four-and-a-half-hour duration. Still fresh and fashionably futuristic, it parades with conviction the minimalist techniques that Glass had arrived at in 1975 through his involvement with the avant-garde downtown scene in Manhattan. As such, this immaculately realised revival, filmed in Paris in 2014 and lavishly packaged, is a living monument to a work that marked the arrival on the world stage of a soon-to-be stratospherically successful composer. © 2018 BBC Music Magazine Read complete review

Chris Morgan
Scene Magazine, August 2017

A case could be made for saying that composer Philip Glass ‘made his bones’ with Einstein on the Beach, the four act (and five-hour) opera he created with producer Robert Wilson in the 1970s. This 2014 performance of the work, featuring Antoine Silverman, Helga Davis and Kate Moran—as well as The Philip Glass Ensemble conducted by Michael Riesman—does nothing to discourage this perception. The opera is as bold and demanding of its audience as it ever was, with Glass’ minimalist music and concept appealing to different viewers in varying degrees. © 2017 Scene Magazine Read complete review

Mark Sealey
Classical Net, May 2017

Opus Arte has produced just such a reference recording. It accurately reflects Glass’s intentions. Glass enthusiasts will want this clever and yet restrained account on film. Such an intelligently theatrically-staged performance as this can be highly effective not only in illustrating how Glass and Wilson conceived the tableaus, but also in elevating the impact of the music itself when presented in sequence. © 2017 Classical Net Read complete review

Rob Haskins
American Record Guide, May 2017

The performers are fine, especially Helga Davis and Kate Moran, who portray the two female characters. Stylized movement and the two ensemble dances, choreographed by Lucinda Childs, occupy a central position in the dramaturgy of the work, and for this reason alone the video is an important contribution to anyone who loves the work and wants to understand it better. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Joe Cadagin
Opera News, May 2017

GLASS, P.: Einstein on the Beach (Châtelet, 2014) (NTSC) OA1178D
GLASS, P.: Einstein on the Beach (Châtelet, 2014) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7173D

Einstein on the Beach is the ultimate Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk—a total synthesis of art forms. Philip Glass’s music, Robert Wilson’s staging and design, Christopher Knowles’s text and Lucinda Childs’s choreography are so integral, to one another and to the whole, that a new production of Einstein is impossible to imagine. …But this DVD, filmed at Paris’s Théâtre du Châtelet during the 2014–15 international tour, may be the next best thing. Not only is it the first time the opera has been released on video; it’s the first unabridged recording, at a whopping four hours and twenty-four minutes. © 2017 Opera News Read complete review

Andrew Timar
The WholeNote, January 2017

Wilson’s series of powerful recurrent stage images drawn from the famous physicist Albert Einstein’s life serve as the work’s frame. The dramatic device is imaginatively underpinned by Glass’ composition for soloists, chorus and his instrumental ensemble. It’s further explored by the masterfully conceived and movingly performed modern dance sequences choreographed by Childs.

I find Einstein a touching, moving and oddly reassuring work, one which I’ll be revisiting soon. © 2017 The WholeNote Read complete review

Pwyll ap Siôn
Gramophone, January 2017

GLASS, P.: Einstein on the Beach (Châtelet, 2014) (NTSC) OA1178D
GLASS, P.: Einstein on the Beach (Châtelet, 2014) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7173D

With excellent performances by a highly versatile 12-part chorus, a well-oiled Philip Glass Ensemble directed by Michael Riesman (which includes a dazzling bebop-style saxophone solo by Andrew Sterman in Act 4 scene 1), and violinist Antoine Silverman as the inscrutable Einstein, this is as close to a definitive version of the opera as you’re likely to get. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Jason Victor Serinus
Bay Area Reporter, December 2016

When this game-changing opera/musical theater work premiered in 1976 at the Avignon Festival, the course of modern music was altered. Here for the first time on DVD is the 2012-14 production co-commissioned by UC Berkeley, with the Philip Glass Ensemble conducted by Michael Riesman, choreography by Lucinda Childs (who played the lead in the original production), and direction/set design by Wilson. Fittingly, the production began its run in Montpellier, France, and was recorded in that country’s Theatre du Chatelet in 2014. Grab three bowls of popcorn, a joint, and whatever else you need, and prepare to enter an alternate universe. © 2016 Bay Area Reporter

Michael Giltz
The Huffington Post, December 2016

A landmark of opera, music and art, Einstein On The Beach is an incomparable work and here you’re seeing a faithful, imaginative record of a performance during its most recent revival. This isn’t a film reimagining of the work—it’s more like an exceptionally good example of one of those Live At The Met broadcasts or the PBS shows of a particular theatrical piece. They do use editing and close-ups to provide intimate moments you’d never experience during an actual performance. But mostly they stay out of the way. The picture and sound quality is excellent and the packaging is gorgeous. © 2016 The Huffington Post Read complete review, December 2016

The performers on this two-DVD set appear to believe in what they are doing, and there are visual moments that possess a kind of beauty analogous to that of some aural moments in Glass’s score. © 2016 Read complete review

Robert Benson, December 2016

This production is deluxe, beautifully packaged with a 56-page booklet with comprehensive program notes. If this sort of theater work appeals to you here it is in a first-class presentation beautifully photographed with excellent audio. © 2016 Read complete review

John von Rhein
Chicago Tribune, December 2016

If you have the time and patience to absorb all that this bizarre if fascinating 1976 opera by composer Glass and director-designer Robert Wilson throws at you in the course of four hours and 40 minutes, you will find it a music theater experience unlike any other. Recorded in performances at Paris’ Chatelet Theatre in 2014, “Einstein” is a visual and aural mind-blower. © 2016 Chicago Tribune

Gavin Engelbrecht
The Northern Echo, November 2016

The landmark production by director Robert Wilson of Philip Glass’s seminal Einstein on the Beach makes for a world premiere filming by award-winning arts filmmaker Don Kent. Pulsating music and compelling viewing throughout. © 2016 The Northern Echo

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, November 2016

Einstein on the Beach, a collaboration by Robert Wilson and Philip Glass, is a fundamentally unconventional opera, non-narrative, with a not really understandable collage of images and dance scenes. The whole thing is so abstract that the spectator has a million of questions coming from all his senses to is much occupied brain, and he never will have an answer at a single one. An exhilarating piece of music theatre in a landmark production from the Châtelet in Paris! © 2016 Pizzicato

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