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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 21 April 2016
Love this Glass opera, another favourite is Akhnaten. I don't have a single issue with the recording's sound or quality, all seems good to me, which is great news as this is the only recording available of Satyagraha. The brochure has a synopsis for each act and scene, but there's no libretto, which is probably enough for most people.
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on 19 June 2017
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on 17 September 2007
I'm afraid I agree with others that this recording is far from perfect. Having recently been knocked off my seat by the powerful and well-executed performance at ENO, I have listened repeatedly to the Keene performance (recorded in 1983). In comparison to eg Akhnaten (1987), the recording and mixing of the Keene Satyagraha performance is not superb. I can only hope that ENO produce a modern mix of the London performance.

So, why 4 out of 5? Because the opera is superb and this is the only recording available!!
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on 12 November 2012
I have a version of this piece that I bought many years ago. It has a different cover to the one shown but I assume it is the same recording.

Many of the comments in the reviews here mystify me. One reviewer states that the recording is so poor it is very near unplayable and many others criticize the recording quality.
Well I have a very good hi-fi setup and I totally disagree with these views. Over the years I have 'voiced' my system towards opera and classical music in general. That is a nerdy way of saying that when purchasing a new piece of kit then much of my listening tests are conducted using opera as the source. In fact if it can reproduce opera well then in my experience it will perform well for most other musical forms - rap aside, which is fine because I never listen to rap.

I wonder, therefore, if this version of this opera has been remixed because I think the recording is OK.

The opera itself, though, is brilliant. It has become, over the years one of my favorite operas, which is no mean feat when you consider how many geniuses have produced great operas: Wagner, Puccini, Mozart etc. I sit and listen to this, loud and in a darkened room and it transports me far away - it's like being at University again!!!!

If you don't know this piece then give it a try and do persevere if you don't immediately 'get off' on it

ps Another reviewer has said that you will be disappointed with Act 2 after listening to Act 1. This I find difficult to understand. If you like Act 1 then you will like Act 2. Some strange comments about this wonderful work.
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on 22 August 2017
Bought this 3 disk album to see whether I liked the music before committing to the English National Opera's performance of this work at the Coliseum, London in February 2018. The music is typical early Philip Glass which you need to be a committed fan to enjoy. It appears difficult for an orchestra to perform but wonderful to listen to. There are a number of structural similarities to the later produced opera, Akhnaten and it is difficult to tell which is the better of the two. Act 2, Scene 1 of Satyagraha is the highlight, nearly 15 minutes of "pure" Glass. Can't wait until next year's visit to the live performance.
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on 3 June 2010
This is obviously a fantastic piece of music, the shimmering arpeggiated stuff, the cross rhythms, the beautiful voices etc., however this is also a very detailed work that seems to suggest almost microscopic listening, hence the technical points below.

I bought this to replace my mp3 copies of this piece (sorry about that...) as I hated the way they sounded and put it down to bad quality 128 kbit/s encoding - unfortunately I was wrong...

The recording sounds like it was made on a Dictaphone, except for the incessant and distracting muttering and page riffling from the chorus and orchestra - how do these guys do this? Did the engineer mic up the music stands but not the instruments? I can also hear the noise gates on the chorus opening and shutting so that odd words seem to jump out at you, and even the singers' breathing seems to trigger this effect. Why did they even bother gating stuff if so much other stuff is allowed to leak through anyway. Honestly, an amateur recording in his shed wouldn't make such school-boy errors - Sony last time I heard are a massive multi-national company, does no-one listen to this stuff before it is sent off to be pressed?

Another personal bugbear - why are the solo voices panned hard left or right? Do these guys have no idea of what stereo is for? (to create a nice 3d sound environment, in case you wondered). It sounds really peculiar on headphones - even in a room with little natural ambience you hear voices reflected off the walls and therefore in both ears! In an opera house I would like to think that there was a little more natural reverberation, which brings me to another point - most of what I hear seems to have been caused by an over-emphasis on close miking singers and parts of the orchestra - were there no ambient microphones in the room at all?

I have to admit much of the classical music I've listened to has been fairly "flat" sounding, and I accept that there is certainly a different recording aesthetic at work here - I certainly don't expect the mix to be compressed or run through a load of psycho acoustic processing like a rock/electronic/pop record, but really, much of this could have been fixed in an afternoon in a studio (I could do it myself, to be honest - Mr Glass, if you can let me have the masters I'll gladly polish them for you - assuming it was recorded on multi-track at all!).
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on 12 June 2007
This is Glass' most beautiful piece. On my modest system [Pioneer Amp & Goodmans speakers], the sound is neither 'grainy' or 'harsh' I was transported back to the ENO last month where I heard it for the first time.
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on 8 May 2010
I saw English National Opera's wonderful production of this opera recently and just loved the whole production so had to get hold of a recording of this beautiful music. Very few recordings available and all others were horrifically expensive - more than the cost of a top price seat at the Coliseum plus my train fare! I was worried that this would be a naff recording as it was so reasonably priced compared to all others on offer - my fears were unfounded, it is a great recording and was delivered promptly and in perfect condition ... no complaints here. I shall probably never get another chance to see this fabulous, rarely-performed opera live, so this cd will enable me to re-live the experience.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 November 2011
It#s probably foolish to expect a recording made nearly 30 years ago to deliver the quality of more recent technological advances, but when this is all there is I will be resentfully grateful until a new recording is made.

I had various extracts from Satyagraha (this version) on a Glass compilation The Essential Philip Glass but had not seen or heard the opera in entirety till a very recent 'Live From The Met in HD' showing at the Barbican. That sumptious, breathtaking performance has left me wanting to hear the music all over again, so that I can attempt to replay some of the stunning visuals in my mind before they fade.

Sadly, this recording can't really cut the mustard. I don't believe it is inferior performance, merely (merely!) inferior recording. Richness, depth and warmth have been stripped out, so that the instrumention sounds on the edge of squeaky and the wall of vocal sound which enveloped me in the Met's (a ROH transfer) performance is muted here. It feels as if the singers and orchestra have been boxed up somewhere.

Nonetheless I have to have this, I'm seriously yearning for this music, even if not for this recording. Who knows, if the Met were to release a CD and DVD of the 2011 version, then I may be able to properly immerse myself in heaven again. Till then, silvery voiced Douglas Perry will keep me company until the strange combination of a voice which is both warmer, purer, more ethereal and more passionately engaged with being flesh and blood (Richard Croft in the 2011 version) is hopefully recorded.
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on 20 October 2014
very mind blowing
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