At long last, Orange Mountain Music is releasing Glass' large-scale oratorio THE PASSION OF RAMAKRISHNA on September 4th. The work is performed by Pacific Symphony under Carl St.Clair with John Alexander's Pacific Chorale and a panel of excellent soloists.
Pacific Symphony commissioned and premiered the 45 minute grand piece in 2006 to open their new concert hall and then reviving the piece in the spring of 2011 during four performances during which this recording was made. Their hall, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, is replete with state of the art in-house recording capabilities. This is the Pacific Symphony's first commercial recording made in the new arts center.
The CD is now available for Pre-Order at Amazon. To be released the same day, the iTunes release will feature a bonus track of the Pacific Symphony performing Meetings Along the Edge from Passages, a wild fantasy co-composed between Glass and Ravi Shankar.
When in Orange County, I thought the best way to think of Meetings was as a "Rhapsody on a Theme by Ravi Shankar." Glass puts the theme through the gamut, adding the elements that aren't found in Indian classical music (harmony and counterpoint), added all his rhythmic gestures after he explained that the Shankar theme turned out to be worked out as 3.5 measures in his notation. Glass even included some tricks from the art of the fugue.