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Reich: Triple Quartet, etc.

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Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
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, ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
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!

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 Bart&oacutek and Schnittke, yet bearing all the hallmarks of the old Reich.

Steve Reich moves brilliantly into uncharted territory with this compelling new recording.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/16/2001
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • UPC: 075597954623
  • Catalog Number: 79546

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kronos Quartet Primary Artist
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