Singing Archaeology: Philip Glass’s Akhnaten
Wesleyan University Press, 31.03.1999 - 294 Seiten
While Philip Glass's operas, film scores, symphonies, and popular works have made him America's best-known classical composer, almost no analysis of his compositional techniques grounded in current cultural theory has yet been published. John Richardson's in-depth examination shows how the third opera of Glass's famous trilogy, the story of an adrogynous monarch who authored radical social and religious reforms, encapsulates Glass's ideational orientation at the time, both in terms of his unique conception of music theater and with regard to broader social questions. Glass's nontraditional musical syntax, his experimental, minimalist approach, and his highly ambiguous tonality have resisted interpretation, but Richardson overcomes those difficulties by developing new theoretical models through which to analyze both the work and its genesis.
In Akhnaten, Richardson says, the composer's concepts of sound and dramatic context, cultural theory, and gender construction intersect, providing perhaps the best demonstration of "the very nature of Glass's aesthetic, which places a strong emphasis on implicit levels of signification and steers clear of conventional 'story telling' narrative strategies." Careful explanations of theory and compositional strategies, close readings of the work itself, consideration of the collaborative aspects of the opera's evolution, and incorporation of previously unpublished interviews with Glass himself combine to illuminate both a landmark work of contemporary musical theater and a dominant figure on the American musical landscape.
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A-flat Akhna Akhnaten Amarna Amenhotep Amenhotep III Amon ancient Egypt ancient Egyptian androgyny archaeological arpeggios Artaud associated Aten Atenist audience bass Brecht cadence chaconne chord composer composer's contemporary countertenor critics culture cycle daughters discussion dramatic duet Egypt Einstein example F-sharp feminine final Freud funeral gender Glass's music harmonic heard historical home key hymn Ibid ideas influence Kathakali key center king Kristeva listener major melodic minimal music minimalism minimalist minor mother motif music theater musical language narrative Nefertiti Nefertiti's Oedipus and Akhnaton Oedipus complex old order passage pattern perceived pharaoh Philip Glass polytonality postmodern prelude prelude music reference rehearsal mark religious rhythmic Satyagraha scene semiotic sense sexual significant singing Susan McClary symbolic technique tetrachord theater third tion tonal tonal ambiguity tonic tradition trans transgression Tutankhamen Tye's University Press Velikovsky voice Window of Appearances writing York