Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"Some say 'The Desert Music' stand out as Reich's greatest work, so this release carries a lot of importance with it. For 'Desert', Pierson produced a new orchestration of Reich's scaled-down chamber version; it's very effective and makes the music stand out with the clarity it needs." - Haskins, ARG
Personnel: Heather Gardner, Akiko Fujimoto, Martha Cluver (vocals); Elizabeth Phillips (soprano); Andrew Fouts, Susanna Cortesio, Mike Jorgensen, Caleb Burhans (violin); Stefan Freund, Justin Caulley (cello); Justin Berrie, Jessica Johnson (flute, piccolo); Ann Choomack (piccolo); Lisa Edelman (trumpet); James Hirschfeld, David Beauchesne, Mike Dowden (trombone); Clay Greenberg (keyboards, percussion); Dennis DeSantis (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Dennis DeSantis; Alan Pierson.
Recording information: Eastman Computer Music Center, Rochester, NY (05/1999-05/2001); Kresge Recording Studios Of The Eastman School Of Music (05/1999-05/2001); The Studios At Linden Oaks, Rochester, NY (05/1999-05/2001).
Editors: Dennis DeSantis; Alan Pierson.
Collected together, these two of composer Steve Reich's most ambitious pieces written for orchestra are stunning recordings, played with great depth of feeling and color while adhering to the precision acrobatics in the scores. Performed by Alarm Will Sound and Ossia, both under the direction of conductor Alan Pierson, these performances are far more dramatic and atmospheric than the ones Reich recorded with his own ensemble in the 1980s. That verve and flair, which gives away nothing in terms of crisp dynamic, together with a deeply focused adherence to tempo and intonation, make for a stellar album at the very least. On record, these are the definitive performances of these works. ~ Thom Jurek