Reich: Triple Quartet, etc.

Reich: Triple Quartet, etc.

by Kronos Quartet
     
 

Unlike Steve Reich's writing for his own ensemble, his music for traditional instruments looks back to classical forms: The orchestral Four Sections, for example, resembles a four-movement symphony, and the Triple Quartet, recorded here, has the structure and feeling of a Baroque concerto. Cast in the conventionalSee more details below

Overview

Unlike Steve Reich's writing for his own ensemble, his music for traditional instruments looks back to classical forms: The orchestral Four Sections, for example, resembles a four-movement symphony, and the Triple Quartet, recorded here, has the structure and feeling of a Baroque concerto. Cast in the conventional fast-slow-fast format, the work, which is scored for three string quartets, can be heard as an homage to Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. The Kronos Quartet (playing all 12 parts through the magic of overdubbing) give an invigorating performance, slashing through the syncopated rhythms, yet finding a lyrical element, even in the spikiest passages.

The rest of the disc revisits Reich's earlier compositions: Dominic Frasca updates the groundbreaking Violin Phase (1967) in a performance on electric guitar. Music for Large Ensemble (1977-79) is heard in a new arrangement by two avant-garde groups -- Alarm Will Sound and the Ossia Ensemble. The arrangement, which substitutes a pair of violins in place of saxophones and voices, sounds warmer yet maintains its essential energy. And finally, Vermont Counterpoint (1981), originally composed for flutes, is realized with breathtaking precision in an adaptation for MIDI marimbas. Reich fans, rejoice!

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Sean Westergaard
Steve Reich continues his exploration of counterpoint and phasing with Triple Quartet, a commission piece for the Kronos Quartet dating to 1999. For this piece (a suite in three movements), Kronos recorded two quartet scores, then played along with the tape, resulting in the Triple Quartet. Originally inspired by Bela Bartok's Fourth Quartet, the movements alternate fast, slow, and fast, with thick contrapuntal melodies rising and falling throughout. "Electric Guitar Phase" began life as "Violin Phase" in 1967. For this version, Dominic Frasca plays four electric guitar parts designed to set up phasing patterns. The initial melody (which almost sounds like the intro to a Van Halen tune) is doubled on a second guitar, then gradually sped up so that the second guitar winds up one eighth note ahead of the original melody. As other guitar parts are added in, the melody constantly changes subtly, the end result being a fascinating mixture of stasis and evolution. "Music for Large Ensemble," originally dating to 1977, is for a group approaching 30 players and is reminiscent of "Music for 18 Musicans" (also from the same time period), while "Tokyo/Vermont Counterpoint" is originally from 1981 and is performed by only one player performing multiple parts. For this piece, the original arrangement for flutes and piccolos is scored for MIDI marimba and xylophone. The natural duration of the notes was shortened in order to maintain the clarity of the composition, but the piece still shares a sonic kinship with "Six Marimbas." Triple Quartet is another beautiful offering from Steve Reich. It would also serve as a fine introduction to his work, as it surveys each of his four active decades as a composer and touches on the various styles and processes he's been interested in since moving away from pure musique concrète. Highly recommended.
Gramophone
Steve Reich moves brilliantly into uncharted territory with this compelling new recording.
BBC Music Magazine - Nicholas Williams
In Triple Quartet, the Kronos accompaies pre-recorded versions of itself in music inspired by Bartók and Schnittke, yet bearing all the hallmarks of the old Reich.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/16/2001
Label:
Nonesuch
UPC:
0075597954623
catalogNumber:
79546

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Triple Quartet, for 3 string quartets  - Steve Reich  -  Kronos Quartet  - Hank Dutt  - Robert Hurwitz  - Paul Miller  - John Sherba  - Jennifer Culp  - Will Jennings  - Alan Pierson  - Lance Quinn  - Jessica Johnson  - Paolo Vasile  - Miako Yoshida  - Clay Greenberg  - Susanne Kelly
  2. Electric Guitar Phase, for 4 electric guitars (arr. of Violin Phase)  - Steve Reich  - Hank Dutt  - Robert Hurwitz  - Paul Miller  - John Sherba  - Jennifer Culp  - Will Jennings  - Alan Pierson  - Lance Quinn  - Jessica Johnson  - Paolo Vasile  - Miako Yoshida  - Clay Greenberg  - Susanne Kelly
  3. Music for a Large Ensemble, for 2 female voices and small orchestra  - Steve Reich  - Hank Dutt  - Robert Hurwitz  - Paul Miller  - John Sherba  - Jennifer Culp  - Will Jennings  - Alan Pierson  - Alan Pierson  -  Ossia  -  Alarm Will Sound  - Lance Quinn  - Jessica Johnson  - Paolo Vasile  - Miako Yoshida  - Clay Greenberg  - Susanne Kelly
  4. Tokyo/Vermont Counterpoint, for MIDI marimba (arr. of Vermont Counterpoint)  - Steve Reich  - Hank Dutt  - Robert Hurwitz  - Paul Miller  - John Sherba  - Jennifer Culp  - Will Jennings  - Alan Pierson  - Lance Quinn  - Jessica Johnson  - Paolo Vasile  - Miako Yoshida  - Clay Greenberg  - Susanne Kelly

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