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iTunes Review

The quintuple-length Phases is the second Nonesuch Records box set of minimalist master Steve Reich's work. Phases marked Reich's 70th birthday and documents his 1985-2005 output. But while this means that the set features such latter-day pieces as the vocal-oriented "You Are Wherever Your Thoughts Are" (part of You Are ) and the angular modernist chamber work Triple Quartet, it crucially includes later recordings of Reich's trailblazing minimalist compositions from the '70s, as well as a '60s piece featured on the 1987 collection Early Works. In this way, Phases offers an even wider overview of Reich's career than Works, letting us follow the composer from his tape-based '60s works (Come Out) through percussion-heavy '70s pieces (Drumming, 18 Musicians) to compositions like Tehillim and You Are that not only make more use of vocals but tap into Reich's Jewish cultural identity.

Customer Reviews

A great introduction to one of the most important minimalist composers of our generation

This compilation offers a fairly comprehensive and reasonably priced entry point to the works of Steve Reich. The works presented here are varied, from the bare bones percussion of Drumming to the tape loops of Come Out to the rich guitar of Electric Counterpoint to the complex interplay of voice samples and string quartet in Different Trains, many facets of Reich's works are showcased. I bought this as a budget way to obtain several Reich works I owned on CD previously but there were several works here new to me that I really enjoyed, including the angular Triple Quartet and the lively New York Counterpoint. If you're new to minimalism, this is a great compilation to get you into the genre. If you're familiar with minimalism but are new to Reich, this will get you a broad spread of his works for a reasonable price. Even if you're familiar with Reich, this is a good way to pick up a large number of his most famous works.

End of songs clipped

Both Itunes and Amazon player on IPhone skip the last seconds of every song. Frustrating because the music is excellent.


Born: October 3, 1936 in New York, NY

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A highly influential avant-garde composer and one of the key founders of the minimalist school of music, Steve Reich has embraced a wide variety of musical styles and interests, forging from them a unique synthesis. Reich took piano lessons as a youngster, but his first big musical revelations came at 14, when he encountered the music of Bach and Stravinsky. He also had his first exposure to bebop, and immediately started learning drums and playing in a jazz band with friends. He played on weekends...
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