Monday, May 07, 2007

Five (Easy) Pieces part 4

Steve Reich. Really any of his pieces will do, you almost can't go wrong here if you like rhythm, timbre, harmony -- basically if you enjoy anything related to the process of hearing sounds you will like his work. Some of Reich's work is more formalist, like the tape pieces and the counterpoint compositions, and some is pretty sprawling (You Are Variations, City Life, Desert Music). Music for 18 Musicians or Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ both offer good starting places. Then you can look back towards the instrumental phase pieces or forward to Different Trains, which has my vote as the greatest composition after WWII.

If all you've heard of "minimalism" is Phillip Glass, you might feel overwhelmed by its inhumanity, its clinical disregard for physiology and sense. Steve Reich will disabuse you of that right away.

This is the recording you want of
Music for 18 Musicians, and here's a great recording of Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ.

Different Trains, Kronos recorded the undisputed benchmark.

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