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Olson III

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Album Review

Recorded live in Stockholm in 1967, this archival release appeared in 1999 to much anticipation, as it represents a vital chapter in the rediscovery of American minimalism. Terry Riley premiered this phenomenal work, Olson III, in Sweden — a 53-minute composition for orchestra, chorus, and his own soprano sax. A Swedish high school orchestra performed his composition with renowned local minimalist composer Folk Rabe at the controls. The music allows a large degree of improvisation in order to create the phase variations that are one of the signatures of Riley's hypnotic music. The delight of the young students indulging in the ecstatic drones of this highly experimental new music is audible in the explosive performance that they give to the piece. Of the archival recordings of Terry Riley that are available from Organ of Corti, this piece comes with a high recommendation, along with the extraordinary Reed Streams.


Born: 24 June 1935 in Colfax, CA

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Minimalist pioneer Terry Riley was among the most revolutionary composers of the postwar era; famed for his introduction of repetition into Western music motifs, he also masterminded early experiments in tape loops and delay systems which left an indelible mark on the experimental music produced in his wake. Riley was born June 24, 1935 in Colfax, California, and began performing professionally as a solo pianist during the '50s; by the middle of the decade, he was studying composition in San Francisco...
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Olson III, Terry Riley
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