Personnel: Ida Szabó, Agnes Dobszay, Katalin Károlyi, Zsuzsanna Lukin (vocals); László Melis (violin); Gellért Tihanyi, János Maczák (clarinet, bass clarinet); Aurél Holló (piano, vibraphone); Tibor Nemes (piano, marimba); Károly Bojtos (piano, xylophone); György Oravecz (piano, maracas); Béla Faragó (piano); Gergely Bíró (marimba, maracas); Zsolt Sárkány, Zoltán Váczi (marimba); Benedek Tóth (xylophone).
Liner Note Author: Steve Reich .
Recording information: Concert Hall of Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest (05/18/1990).
Editor: Domonkos Tímár.
Translator: Andreas Neutsch.
Unknown Contributor Role: Péter Barta.
This live recording of Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians comes with lavish praise from the composer himself, a man who has made no secret of his low regard for both live recordings in general and live recordings of his own music by European musicians in particular. This performance was recorded in concert at the Ferenc Liszt Academy in Budapest. The Amadinda percussion ensemble, normally a quartet, added the requisite 14 additional players in order to meet the demands of the score and learned the parts by interpreting Reich's original version of the printed music rather than the official published score from the late 1990s. With Music for 18 Musicians, Reich made it clear that he was not a "minimalist" in the sense that his contemporaries Philip Glass and Terry Riley were minimalist; while the piece is characterized by repeated figures and relatively slow harmonic movement, there is a tremendous intricacy to the structure that underlies this composition, and it covers a large amount of conceptual and sonic ground over the course of its one-hour length. Amadinda and the rest of the ensemble play and sing with an irresistible energy and verve; Reich is entirely right when he says, in the notes, that "one is simply swept along" by the power of their performance. Very highly recommended. ~ Rick Anderson