Author Topic: Steve Reich (b. 1936)  (Read 12757 times)

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Offline Brewski

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Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« on: April 29, 2009, 07:45:38 AM »
I'm a little surprised to find no Steve Reich thread, but there you go!

Just found this link on Newsweek's website that has an interview with him, and a performance of his Double Sextet, the piece that just won the Pulitzer Prize.  It's here.  I have heard it several times performed by eighth blackbird, for whom it was written.  Anyone who has been following the composer and enjoys his recent works will definitely want to hear it.

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hornteacher

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2009, 06:09:23 PM »
My favorite Reich piece has to be "New York Counterpoint".  It has all the effects of minimalist looping but without the cold electronic sounds.  Love when the bass clarinet kicks in during the 3rd movement.  Of course my students love "Clapping Music".

karlhenning

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2009, 02:26:08 AM »
I don't know that listening to a recording would be comparable, but I haa a great time witnessing two colleagues in Buffalo perform the Clapping Music.

Offline jowcol

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2009, 01:08:28 PM »
I'm a complete sucker for Music for 18 Musicians.  I'll go into binges where I'll put that on endless repeat.  It's my personal favorite of the "minimalist" compositions that I've heard.  The few extra chord changes make all the difference, and it is deeply profound and uplifting.

I wasn't able to get the same out of his phase music or "Drumming" -- may be my fault.

I have the Nonesuch and ECM versions of 18.  I love them both- the ECM sounds more "live", but the detail in the Nonesuch is pretty impressive.
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington

karlhenning

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2009, 04:21:53 AM »
A hint of cross-pollination, perhaps?

Offline jowcol

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2009, 04:39:59 PM »
I've just gotten to know Reich's Desert Music, and I have been listening to it obsessively  for the last week.  It's got some the the "typical" Reich trademarks, but it also strikes me as an unholy marriage of Stravinsky's Les Noces and Symphony of Psalms.   It seems that some of the more hard core Reich fans don't like him working with larger ensembles, but I've gotten a LOT out of this.
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington

karlhenning

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2009, 01:50:40 PM »
I've just gotten to know Reich's Desert Music, and I have been listening to it obsessively for the last week.  It's got some the the "typical" Reich trademarks, but it also strikes me as an unholy marriage of Stravinsky's Les Noces and Symphony of Psalms.   It seems that some of the more hard core Reich fans don't like him working with larger ensembles, but I've gotten a LOT out of this.

When I first got to know The Desert Music (back when I was in Charlottesville), it was obsessive listening for a longish while for me, too.  I should revisit the "large orchestra" version;  lately I've been listening to a smaller scoring, the recording by Alarm Will Sound.

Offline edward

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2009, 01:47:40 PM »
When I first got to know The Desert Music (back when I was in Charlottesville), it was obsessive listening for a longish while for me, too.  I should revisit the "large orchestra" version;  lately I've been listening to a smaller scoring, the recording by Alarm Will Sound.
I've been thinking of the Alarm Will Sound recording too... I really enjoy the original recording of this work but I can imagine the clarity of a smaller ensemble being to its benefit.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
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karlhenning

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2009, 02:33:29 AM »
A very nice account of Tehillim on that Alarm Will Sound disc, too.

karlhenning

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2009, 03:13:30 AM »
My favorite Reich piece has to be "New York Counterpoint".  It has all the effects of minimalist looping but without the cold electronic sounds.

He wrote a few such pieces, 'variations on a theme' . . . .

Joe Barron

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2009, 09:04:50 AM »
Used to like Reich, but I lost interest after Desert Music, which was a major disappointment.  New York Counterpoint to me seemed lazy: the music just fades out when he runs out of ideas. It lacks the grand sweep of something like Music for 18 Musicians, which remains my favorite of his.

I don't care at this point if I never hear any Reich again. :-\

Offline Brewski

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2009, 01:41:15 PM »
Just got word about a huge Steve Reich festival Dec. 10-16 on WQXR-FM, which will be streamed over the Internet.  More info below.

--Bruce

* * * **

WQXR’s “Q2” Web Stream Presents
MAXIMUM REICH: A Celebration of Steve Reich
from Thursday, December 10 to Wednesday, December 16

Streamed at www.Q2live.org

Q2, WQXR’s vibrant new 24/7 music stream dedicated to contemporary classical music, kicks off its first full festival, MAXIMUM REICH: A Celebration of Steve Reich, from December 10 - 16. This week-long immersion into the work of one of the most landscape-changing composers of the last 50 years will include a comprehensive presentation of his recorded works; explorations of the influences both on and of Reich, including tributes from musicians and composers he has inspired, such as Nico Muhly, Sonic Youth, and David Lang; recent videos and exclusive downloads; and interviews and music recordings from the venerable archives of WNYC, the new owner of WQXR.

MAXIMUM REICH: A Celebration of Steve Reich will stream on Q2 from Thursday, December 10 to Wednesday, December 16. Q2 is available at www.Q2live.org, and can also be accessed through WQXR’s web site, www.wqxr.org.  In addition, NPR Music will run the full stream and it will feature highlights from the festival, including select recordings of live performances and Steve Reich in his own words. NPR’s stream will be available at www.npr.org/music.

Highlights of the festival:

    * Original and exciting new recordings of all of Reich’s recorded works, many with personal introductions by Reich himself

    * Exclusive rare performances and interviews from the WNYC archives, including visits with John Schaefer on New Sounds and Soundcheck, long-format interviews with Tim Page on Meet the Composer and with Leonard Lopate on The Leonard Lopate Show

    * Do You Q2 blog, with celebrity tributes from contemporaries, collaborators and admirers from different fields, including: David Lang and Nico Muhly, composers; Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo; So Percussion’s Jason Treuting; and Bang On A Can Allstars & Steve Reich & Musicians’ Evan Ziporyn

    * Reich (Remixed), a collection of Steve Reich material remixed by some of today’s most important DJs and remixers

    * Exclusive, time-limited download of Reich’s Dance Patterns, courtesy Nonesuch Records http://nonesuch.edgeboss.net/download/nonesuch/music/075597991321/a_fl_steve_reich_daniel_variations_8_dance_patterns_332481_256.mp3

Festival schedule:

10pm nightly: Different versions of the iconic Reich composition, Music for 18 Musicians

Noon & 8pm daily: Interviews with Reich from WNYC archives

Daily focus:       

Thursday: The Birth of a Style: Influences and Teachers
Friday:  Counterpoint: From Vermont to Cello
Saturday: Reich in Full Voice: Vocal, Choral and Tape
Sunday: The Cave (Reich’s only opera)
Monday: Live Concerts from the WNYC Archives
Tuesday: Music for Percussion
Wednesday: Reich Remixed: The Next Generation
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

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Offline UB

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2010, 02:16:12 AM »
Although there does not seem to be a lot of Reich fans here, those who are interested can listen to 8th Blackbird play his Pulitzer winning Double Sextet on demand.

There are three other works on the program - I have never liked Ades' Catch but the others are OK. Basically this is a program of 21st century, easy listening chamber works.
I am not in the entertainment business. Harrison Birtwistle 2010

karlhenning

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2010, 04:24:58 AM »
Although there does not seem to be a lot of Reich fans here, those who are interested can listen to 8th Blackbird play his Pulitzer winning Double Sextet on demand.

I heard the piece played by Sonic Generator while I was in Atlanta this past November.  An agreeable experience, and (as you say), basically 21st century, easy-listening chamber music.

Offline springrite

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2010, 04:26:46 AM »
Not a big Reich fan myself, but I do like Different Trains a lot, and used it as part of a few public music appreciation lectures I gave.
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline jowcol

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2010, 05:28:21 AM »
Thanks for the link.  I'm definitely a fan-- he tends to borrow from himself a lot, but, in my book, his aesthetic is a major contribution to 20th (and 21st) Century music.  I thought the Daniel Variations were quite effective.

FWIW-- I've been digging into Nik Bartsch's "ritual groove music-zen funk" jazz combo Ronin recently.  (The album Honlon to a lesser degree Stoa are very good.)  He's mentioned Reich as a major influence, and Reich fans may want to check this group out.
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2010, 07:58:50 PM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiV9f1_PFHE

Very gimmicky, and boring as hell. The standing ovation at the end was just embarrassing for such a banal piece of music.

Offline jowcol

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2010, 01:41:08 PM »
I have just picked up the Bang on a Can Reich Album with the New York Counterpoint, 8 LInes (chamber group version of of the Octet) and 4 Organs.

The first two I found to be quite enjoyable-- the 8 lines I liked the best.  (It didn't have that phase-echo thing he repeats in other works), and the wind parts are quite enjoyable.  Still not sure if the added strings help or hurt-- I thought the balance on the Octet was strong, but this was still a good reading.   ON the other end of the spectrum, 4 Organs didn't work for me.  I'm not as fond of some of his deliberate "process" music-- and this one did not have the polyrhythmic richness, nor any of the melodic kernels that he has in the later works.

"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2010, 07:14:20 AM »
Is Music for a Large Ensemble a rewrite of Music for 18 Musicians? If so, was it considered unsuccessful? - as I notice that the original is discussed far more often.

I love how it crams a similar amount of material into a quarter of the length - it makes it listenable as a piece of music rather than some zen thing ;)
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline jowcol

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Re: Steve Reich (b. 1936)
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2010, 09:04:08 AM »
Is Music for a Large Ensemble a rewrite of Music for 18 Musicians? If so, was it considered unsuccessful? - as I notice that the original is discussed far more often.

I love how it crams a similar amount of material into a quarter of the length - it makes it listenable as a piece of music rather than some zen thing ;)

They aren't the same thing-- but Reich borrows from himself pretty heavily.  My favorite light dose of him is the Octect.

The Four Sections is very good if you are into that sort of thing.  (It refers to sections of the orchestra).  The percussion section sounds like he's returned to the same well, but the other sections are more varied, and the climax at the end is really cool, IMO.
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington