Pacific Symphony & Chorale, Carl St.Clair, John Alexander - Philip Glass: The Passion of Ramakrishna (2012) [Re-Up]

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Pacific Symphony & Chorale, Carl St.Clair, John Alexander - Philip Glass: The Passion of Ramakrishna (2012) [Re-Up]

Philip Glass: The Passion of Ramakrishna (2012)
Pacific Symphony, conducted by Carl St.Clair; Pacific Chorale, directed by John Alexander

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 212 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 146 Mb | Scans included
Classical, Minimalism, Choral | Label: Orange Mountain Music | # 0080 | Time: 00:44:11

Orange Mountain Music presents the world premiere recording of Philip Glass' The Passion of Ramakrishna. Commissioned by the Pacific Symphony and premiered in 2006 during the opening of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, Glass' 45 minute oratorio, written for soloists, chorus and large orchestra, is a passion play and a tribute to 19th Century Indian spiritual leader Sri Ramakrishna. The work portrays his death with the chorus taking up the voice of Ramakrishna himself and the soloists are those of his loved ones, doctor and disciples. Maestro Carl St.Clair, a longtime champion of the music of Philip Glass, leads the Pacific Symphony, Pacific Chorale and soloists Christopheren Numura, Janice Chandler Eteme, Kevin Deas, I-Chin Feinblatt and Nicholas Preston.

The Pacific Symphony Orchestra of Orange County and the Nashville Symphony co-commissioned Philip Glass' oratorio The Passion of Ramakrishna, which had its first performance in 2006. This recording comes from a 2011 revival with the Pacific Chorale, John Alexander, director, and the Pacific Symphony, led by Carl St. Clair, who had conducted the premiere. The composer wrote the libretto based on the life of the mystic and spiritual leader Sri Ramakrishna, who died in 1886. The prosaic text, which includes excerpts from the mystic's teachings and a description of the details of the cancer symptoms of his final days, doesn't make a very compelling narrative or draw in the listener the way Glass' most effective dramatic works do, and doesn't call forth his most elegant or profound text setting. The score breaks no new ground for the composer, but it should appeal to his fans. The final chorus, which uses more imitative counterpoint than most Glass scores, is deeply moving and is by far the most engaging part of the score. The soloists are all very fine, but soprano Janice Chandler Eteme stands out for her luscious tone and her vibrant, soulful portrayal of Ramakrishna's wife; this recording comes from the beginning of her career but she's clearly an artist to watch for. The Pacific Chorale and Pacific Symphony Orchestra perform with spirit, but the sound of the live performance, which has plenty of volume, lacks presence and definition, especially in the densest parts of the score.

Review by Stephen Eddins, Allmusic.com

Considering The Passion of Ramakrishna is concerned with Indian mysticism – in particular the life, death and transfiguration of Sri Ramakrishna, the 19th-century mystic whose message inspired the creation of a Ramakrishna mission – Philip Glass’s oratorio is surprisingly unassuming and down-to-earth. Forget the biblical labyrinth of his 1980s Gandhi-inspired opera Satyagraha; this 2006 piece simplifies structures and textures to focus attention back on Ramakrishna’s texts and Glass fades the work into still, serene silence a lean-and-mean 44 minutes after it started.

All of which is a good thing. Too much new Glass has felt flabby around the edges, maximalist orchestral padding encasing minimalist harmonic sequences. But even the Prologue, with its decidedly un-Glassian brass fanfares and brutal percussion thwacks, tells you that dealing with Ramakrishna obliged Glass to look beyond his customary box of melodic and harmonic get-out-of-jail-free cards. Those familiar chord sequences and residual traces of Glass’s manufactured style of orchestration soon assert themselves, of course, but with a far lighter touch than usual.

Having the whole chorus – especially the excellent Pacific Chorale – portray Ramakrishna was musically and symbolically a winning decision. Multiple voices lend the impression that Ramakrishna was indeed one with all humanity; musically Glass restricts himself to uncomplicated speech contours, melismatic decoration notable by its absence. Heralded by Ramakrishna’s death, the emotional temperature abruptly rises near the end as Glass broadens harmonies and dramatic gesturing. His serene coda is a precis of all that has gone before; a fitting conclusion to his most thoughtful and inventive recent piece.

Review by Philip Clark, Gramophone

Pacific Symphony & Chorale, Carl St.Clair, John Alexander - Philip Glass: The Passion of Ramakrishna (2012) [Re-Up]


01. Prologue (02:47)
02. Part 1 (10:45)
03. Part 2 (10:01)
04. Part 3 (09:31)
05. Part 4 (07:00)
06. Epilogue (04:03)

Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 1 from 15. November 2010

EAC extraction logfile from 29. December 2012, 21:31

Philip Glass / The Passion of Ramakrishna

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1 | 0:00.00 | 2:47.34 | 0 | 12558
2 | 2:47.34 | 10:45.58 | 12559 | 60991
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6 | 40:07.61 | 4:03.26 | 180586 | 198836

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foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2015-02-20 16:11:23

Analyzed: Philip Glass / The Passion of Ramakrishna

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
DR12 -0.40 dB -18.04 dB 2:47 01-Prologue
DR14 -0.97 dB -20.42 dB 10:46 02-Part 1
DR14 -2.59 dB -22.17 dB 10:02 03-Part 2
DR16 -4.79 dB -25.91 dB 9:32 04-Part 3
DR14 -2.85 dB -23.71 dB 7:01 05-Part 4
DR14 -2.71 dB -20.99 dB 4:03 06-Epilogue

Number of tracks: 6
Official DR value: DR14

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 528 kbps
Codec: FLAC

Pacific Symphony & Chorale, Carl St.Clair, John Alexander - Philip Glass: The Passion of Ramakrishna (2012) [Re-Up]

Pacific Symphony & Chorale, Carl St.Clair, John Alexander - Philip Glass: The Passion of Ramakrishna (2012) [Re-Up]

All thanks to original releaser - GFox

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