Reich: Music for 18 Musicians

Reich: Music for 18 Musicians

5.0 1
by Steve Reich
     
 

Where do electronica artists go to seek validation when philistine rock fans complain of techno's "incessant repetition"? Lately they've been turning to San Francisco-based composer Steve Reich and his notion that seemingly "minimal" modern classical music can sound shapely, gorgeous, propulsive, and, yes, funky. With Music for 18 Musicians, composed in 1978,See more details below

Overview

Where do electronica artists go to seek validation when philistine rock fans complain of techno's "incessant repetition"? Lately they've been turning to San Francisco-based composer Steve Reich and his notion that seemingly "minimal" modern classical music can sound shapely, gorgeous, propulsive, and, yes, funky. With Music for 18 Musicians, composed in 1978, Reich culminated his two-decade rebellion against staid avant-garde composition. Three high-register female voices, clarinet, violin, cello, maracas, piano, and xylophone blend into each other for 70 minutes of pulsing note-modulations that are paced to correspond with the breathing patterns of the musicians themselves. The album starts spare and grows organically, repeating the same lovely theme until the composition reaches a massive, stop-action climax. Today, Reich's influence can be heard in the work of grooveriders like the Orb and Spring Heel Jack and modern classical revisionists from Stereolab to Tortoise. This version (recorded in 1996 and available separately or as part of Nonesuch's ten-CD box Works: 1965-1995) slows down the original piece, opening up the music's pores to give new and old fans a fresh perspective on one of the most compelling records of the century.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians (1978) expanded the boundaries of minimalism, proving that a style based on repetition and slow change could be used to construct a large-scale masterpiece. Philip Glass had already mastered the art of hypnotic pulsation, but the dynamic processes and the surging ebb and flow of Reich's seminal score are a world apart. Each of the 11 sections sets different groups of overlapping melodies and rhythms in motion, creating rich, stimulating, and ever-changing textures. Made in 1996, this is the second recorded performance of Music for 18 Musicians led by the composer with his own ensemble. It takes an expansive view of the score, luxuriating in its sensuous bliss to an even greater extent than the premiere version, and makes the most forceful case imaginable for Reich's enduring importance and unique genius.
All Music Guide - Leo Stanley
Nonesuch's 1998 issue of Music for 18 Musicians was originally released as part of the ten-disc box set Works. It's a new digital recording (from 1996) of Reich's most famous piece, and it's the only single-disc release of the piece. It's a fine, nearly definitive, recording of one of the most influential contemporary classical compositions of the late 20th century.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/31/1998
Label:
Nonesuch
UPC:
0075597944822
catalogNumber:
79448
Rank:
62444

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Steve Reich   Primary Artist,Piano,Marimbas,Track Performer
Jay Clayton   Piano,Vocals,Alto (Vocal)
Glen Velez   Marimbas,Xylophone
Larry Karush   Piano,Marimbas
Rebecca Armstrong   Voices,Soprano (Vocal)
Marion Beckenstein   Soprano (Vocal)
Bob Becker   Marimbas,Xylophone
Virgil Blackwell   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet
Steve Chambers   Piano
Richard Cohen   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet
Shem Guibbory   Violin
Jeanne LeBlanc   Cello
Edmund Niemann   Piano
Nurit Tilles   Piano
David Van Tieghem   Piano,Marimbas,Xylophone
Evan Ziporyn   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet
Elizabeth Lim   Violin
Cheryl Bensman Rowe   Soprano (Vocal)
Thad Wheeler   Maracas,Marimbas
Elizabeth Arnold   Voices
Pamela Fraley   Voices
Russ Hartenberger   Marimbas,Xylophone
Garry Kvistad   Piano,Marimbas,Xylophone
James Preiss   Piano,Metaphone,Vibes
Gary Schall   Maracas,Marimbas
Phillip Bush   Piano,Maracas
Ensemble Modern   Track Performer
Benjamin Kobler   Piano
Ken Ishii   Cello
Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble   Ensemble
Timothy Ferchen   Marimbas,Xylophone
Leslie Scott   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet

Technical Credits

Steve Reich   Composer,Liner Notes
Robert Hurwitz   Executive Producer
John Kilgore   Engineer
Judith Sherman   Producer
K. Robert Schwarz   Liner Notes
Konstanze Streese   translation,Liner Note Translation
Juris Traductor   Liner Note Translation
Dominique Darbois-Clous   Liner Note Translation

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