More Glass pages

Great Hymn to the Aten - a text which is the genesis for parts of the Abrahamic Bible. (Ooh - do you like that? Genesis of the Old Testament? hahaha) And therefore the originating text of historical and current monotheistic religion.

Great Hymn to the Aten - a text which is the genesis for parts of the Abrahamic Bible. (Ooh - do you like that? Genesis of the Old Testament? hahaha) And therefore the originating text of historical and current monotheistic religion.

Hymn to the Aten text:

Thou dost appear beautiful
On the horizon of heaven
Oh, living Aten
He who was the first to live
When thou hast risen on the Eastern Horizon
Thou art fair, great, dazzling,
High above every land
Thy rays encompass the land
To the very end of all thou hast made

All the beasts are satisfied with their pasture
Trees and plants are verdant
Birds fly from their nests, wings spread
Flocks skip with their feet
All that fly and alight
Live when thou hast arisen

How manifold is that which thou hast made
Thou sole God
There is no other like thee
Thou didst create the earth
According to thy will
Being alone, everything on earth
Which walks and flies on high

Thy rays nourish the fields
When thou dost rise
They live and thrive for thee
Thou makest the seasons to nourish
All thou hast made
The winter to cool
The heat that they may taste thee

There is no other that knows thee
Save thy son, Akhnaten
For thou hast made him skilled
In thy plans and thy might
Thou dost raise him up for thy son
Who comes forth from thyself

Which Glass follows with a quote (in Hebrew and English) from the New Testament:

Oh Lord, how manifold are Thy works
In wisdom hast Thou made them all
The earth is full of Thy riches
Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment
Who stretchest out the Heavens like a curtain

Thou makest darkness and it is night
Wherin all the beasts of the forest do creep forth

Ma rab-bu ma-a-se-kha ha-shem
Ku-lam be-khokh-ma a-sita
Ma-le-a ha-a-rets kin-ya-ne-kha
O-te or ka-sal-ma
No-te sha-ma-yim ka-yi-ri-a

Ta-shet kho-shekh vi-hi lay-la
Bo tir-mis kol khay-to ya-ar

(repeat first three lines)

That title is a bit of a pun. Glasspages is the official Philip Glass website, where one may find a discography, calendar, libretti, scores, writings and more. Jokes even!

But back to LACMA and the talk. Music was played at intervals during the conversation that day. Pianist xxx played Glass’s Piano Sonata – which is made up of three sections, one based on each of the ‘men of ideas’ operas. At one point (my heart started beating faster when this happened) the Love Duet btwn Akhnaten and Nefertiti came over the Bing Theater loudspeakers. Such beautiful music this is and the words are sweet magic. (Apparently from a poem found in Nefertiti’s casket! Eek – how magic.)

During this interlude I was listening to the music and watching Glass intently. He reached his hand out for his bottle of water. (Perhaps to distract from the power of the moment? I was certainly feeling it.) His hand shook visibly as the countertenor and contralto made vocal love. It’s possible that I imagined this moment of transparent vulnerability but I think I saw what I saw: a genius moved and stunned once again by his own work – music he thought familiar enough to be tame but that perhaps continues to perplex him with its subtlety.

A few Grade AAA Prime Glass quotes:

“Curiousity equals Desire” and “Desire Builds to Experience.”

“The Production Defines the Characters.”

Of Akhnaten, “He Walks in Truth.”

“Celebrate With Me the Women and Men of Ideas.”

I suggest that you take an opportunity to see Glass’s Akhnaten at the LBO.

Thanks as always,

Geoff

One final thought on the subjects of reverence, memory, adoration, honor and κοινωνία: Sarah Zucker’s magisterial and charmingly strange treatment of “the Funeral of Amonhotep.”

And because it is beautiful, The Window of Appearances. Bells and a countertenor – for what more could one ask?

Love Duet text:

I breathe the sweet breath
Which comes forth from thy mouth.
I behold thy beauty every day.
It is my desire
That I may be rejuvenated
With life through love
Of thee.

Sesenet neftu nedjem
Per em rek
Peteri nefruk em menet
Ta-i nehet sedj emi
Kheruk nedjem en mehit
Renpu ha-i em ankh
en mertuk.

Give me thy hands, holding thy spirit.
that I may receive it and may live by it.
Call thou upon my name unto eternity
And it shall never fail.

Di-ek eni awik kher ka-ek
Shesepi su ankhi yemef
I ashek reni er heh
Ben hehif em rek

Philip Glass 1

Philip Glass 2

Philip Glass 3

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *