Hymn to the sun Akhnaten by Philip Glass

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWdIzA1SuC0

Countertenor Paul Esswood performs Akhnaten’s Hymn To The Sun in German in Achim Freyer’s original 1984 production of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten. Saw this years later in the old „Flughafen Tempelhof“ hangars. Left a deep impression on me.

Update 6. January 2016: The version mentioned above has vanished from the web. It’s a great recording and I hope to be able to relink it one day. If you ever get your hands on it… watch it. In the mean time I linked this post to another version.

Echnaton_Akhnaten_Freyer_Glass_1984
Photoshop’ed image from the original performance in Stuttgart (1984), Achim Freyer

Update 26. July 2016: Found the documentary that contained the original version to „Hymn to the sun“. You can see that part in a dedicated blog posting to the said documentary towards the end (paid content at Vimeo).

Philip Glass

Philip Glass (born January 31, 1937) is an American composer and pianist. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century. Glass's work has been associated with minimalism, being built up from repetitive phrases and shifting layers. Glass describes himself as a composer of "music with repetitive structures", which he has helped evolve stylistically.Glass founded the Philip Glass Ensemble, with which he still performs on keyboards. He has written numerous operas and musical theatre works, twelve symphonies, eleven concertos, eight string quartets and various other chamber music, and film scores. Three of his film scores have been nominated for Academy Awards.
Definition from Wikipedia – Philip Glass

Akhnaten (opera)

Akhnaten is an opera in three acts based on the life and religious convictions of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV), written by the American composer Philip Glass in 1983. The libretto is by Philip Glass in association with Shalom Goldman, Robert Israel, Richard Riddell and Jerome Robbins. According to the composer, this work is the culmination of his two other biographical operas, Einstein on the Beach (about Albert Einstein) and Satyagraha (about Mahatma Gandhi). These three people – Akhenaten, Einstein and Gandhi – were all driven by an inner vision which altered the age in which they lived, in particular Akhenaten in religion, Einstein in science, and Gandhi in politics. The text, taken from original sources, is sung in the original languages, linked together with the commentary of a narrator in a modern language, such as English or German. Egyptian texts of the period are taken from a poem of Akhenaten himself, from the Book of the Dead, and from extracts of decrees and letters from the Amarna Period, the seventeen-year period of Akhenaten's rule. Other portions are in Akkadian and Biblical Hebrew. Akhnaten's Hymn to the Sun is sung in the language of the audience....
Definition from Wikipedia – Akhnaten (opera)

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