compositions
Akhnaten
An opera in three acts for orchestra, chorus and soloists
1983

180′

Music by Philip Glass. Libretto (Egyptian, Arcadian, Hebrew, and language of the audience) by the composer in association with Shalom Goldman, Robert Israel and Richard Riddell. Vocal text drawn from original sources by Shalom Goldman.

Published by Dunvagen Music Publishers.

Cast

4S, 4Mz, Ct, T, Bar, B; STAB Chorus; (ballet in Act II); 2(pic).2(obda 1+2).2.bcl.2/4.3.3.1/ 3 perc (tom-t, SD, BD, cym, finger cyms, t.bells, wdbl)/ syn, cel (1 player)/ str (no violins)

Commission

Comissioned by the Württembergisch Staatstheater, Stuttgart

Premiere

March 24, 1984, Württembergisch Staatstheater Stuttgart conducted by Dennis Russell Davies

Notes

The third in the Glass’ trilogy of operas about men who changed the world in which they lived through the power of their ideas, “Akhnaten”‘s subject is religion. The Pharaoh Akhnaten was the first monotheist in recorded story, and his substitution of a one-god religion for the multi-god worship in use when he came to power was responsible for his violent overthrow. The opera describes the rise, reign, and fall of Akhnaten in a series of tableaus.

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AVAILABLE SCORES

Akhnaten at ChesterNovello.com
Prelude from "Akhnaten" at ChesterNovello.com
Dance from "Akhnaten" at ChesterNovello.com
Hymn to the Sun from "Akhnaten" at ChesterNovello.com
"Trilogy" Sonata for Piano at MusicRoom.com

RELATED RECORDINGS

Akhnaten on Sony Masterworks
DancePieces on Sony Masterworks
Glass Masters on Sony Masterworks
Glass Reflections on Orange Mountain Music
Philip Glass Ensemble Live in Monterrey, Mexico on Orange Mountain Music
Obras Maestras / Oeuvres Majeures on Sony
Songs from the Trilogy on Sony Masterworks
Songs on Sony Classical
The Essential Philip Glass on Sony Masterworks
Violin Concerto / Prelude and Dance from Akhnaten / Company on Naxos

RELATED FILMS

Looking Glass by Éric Darmon

RELATED BOOKS

Singing Archaeology by John Richardson

CATEGORIES

Opera