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Reich: Music for 18 Musicians / Ensemble Modern

Album Summary

>Reich, Steve : Music for 18 Musicians
Performers Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"[Comparing Reich with Beethoven] Both open new expressive vistas to patient listeners, do not know the meaning of compromise, and are deadly serious in their search for purity and transcendence. Both demand--and reward--the listener's undivided attention...The Ensemble Modern's recording demands comparison with the composer's own (NON-79448)...and is therefore indispensable for all devoted Reichians." --Gimbel, American Record Guide

Notes & Reviews:

Personnel: Micaela Haslam, Ruth Holton, Olive Simpson (soprano); Jagdish Mistry (violin); Eva Böcker (cello); Hermann Kretzschmar, Philipp Vandré, Ueli Wiget, Kristi Becker, Daniel Krüerke (piano); Pascal Pons, Rumi Ogawa-Helferich, Yuko Suzuki, Bob Becker , Russ Hartenberger, Boris Müller, Rainer Römer (percussion).

Recording information: Sendesaal Des Hessischen Rundfunks, Frankurt (06/26/1997-06/29/1997).

Steve Reich's 'Music for 18 Musicians,' performed by Ensemble Modern, is a pulsing exploration of percussion and tone. With chord progressions unfamiliar to most listeners, the rhythm unifies the piece as a whole as well as creating texture for each movement.

Composed over two years beginning in mid-1974, 'Music for 18 Musicians' is similar to the minimalist works of Philip Glass and Terry Riley. Like the works of the other minimalists, Reich's work breaks many rules while maintaining a connection to other musical traditions. While unmistakably modern, Reich's compositional techniques have a lot in common with 12th-century ecclesiastical composer Pérotin, who combined swift and complex polyphony with a much slower bass line of Gregorian chants.

The intriguing nature of this composition makes for fascinating listening. Created without the use of synthesized instruments, these sounds are remarkably unusual. The listener will be as interested in how the music is performed as in how it sounds.


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Works Details

>Reich, Steve : Music for 18 Musicians
  • Performers: Steve Reich; Micaela Haslam (Soprano); Ruth Holton (Soprano); Olive Simpson (Soprano); Carol Canning (Alto); Bob Becker (Percussion); Russ Hartenberger (Percussion); Roland Diry (Clarinet); Wolfgang Stryi (Clarinet); Hermann Kretzschmar (Piano); Ueli Wiget (Piano); Daniel Krüerke (Piano); Philipp Vandré (Piano); Kristi Becker (Piano); Benjamin Kobler (Piano); Rumi Ogawa-Helferich (Percussion); Rainer Römer (Percussion); Pascal Pons (Percussion); Yuko Suzuki (Percussion); Boris Müller (Percussion); Jagdish Mistry (Violin); Eva Böcker (Cello)
  • Ensemble: Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt)
  • Running Time: 56 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 03/1976
  • Studio/Live: Studio