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On the present recording, the opening Prelude - with its magnificently sustained arc of tension and not-quite release - is followed by the dance from Act Two, Scene 3 which, in more obviously rhythmic fashion, celebrates the inauguration of the city of Akhetaten created by the new pharaoh; in an actual production, musicians appear on stage along with the rest of the cast. In both these extracts, some unsettling metrical ambiguities enhance the drama. And throughout the opera, the predominatingly dark mood is enhanced by the absence of violins from the orchestra (an omission actually brought about by practical restrictions on the Stuttgart premiere performances). The Violin Concerto is the first of many orchestral works that Glass has composed on commission since the late 1980s, following the acclaim accorded to Satyagraha and Akhnaten The choice of the concerto form seemed a natural one for a composer then currently obsessed with opera he found it 'more theatrical and more personal' than music for orchestra alone The work was premiered by Paul Zukofsky and the American Composers Orchestra under Dennis Russell Davies in New York on 5th April 1987. Both these musicians had worked with Glass before. Zukofsky played the part of Albert Einstein (in Einstein on the Beach the character is represented by a solo violinist, not a singer) in that stage work's first performances; Davies had conducted the premiere of Akhnaten.