PHILIP GLASS / ROBERT WILSON / THE PHILIP GLASS ENSEMBLE
EINSTEIN ON THE BEACH
(TOMATO 4xLP BOX SET, 1979)
Released on legendary New York independent Tomato – which in its 70s pomp provided an outlet for artists as diverse as Jon Hassell, Albert King, John Cage and Annette Peacock – this 4xLP set is the definitive edition of Glass’s first and best opera, which was designed and directed by fellow downtown shaker Robert Wilson. Einstein On The Beach is less a biographical study of its titular hero and more a meditation on time, space and man’s place within it, eschewing traditional narrative structure in favour of a digressive, poetic, at times hallucinatory approach. At over 4 hours long, you might deem psychedelic drugs necessary to get you through it.