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Music for 18 Musicians

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Customer Reviews

This is where it begins for me as a Reich fan.

I love the work of Steve Reich and this album is the beginning and the end for me. I think his work is difficult to talk about, but for me, this is music that is stimulating to my ears but also to my mind. I find this album the most cohesive and certainly the most engaging. The pulses remind me of many things: Germany, mathematics, intellectualism and I experience it as being both warm and cold. It is a very intellectual exercise and yet it is soothing to the ear. This and "Reich Remixed" are great places to start the Reich experience.

Life changing

There is so much to be said about this work and I should know... I wrote a 15+ page term paper about it! At first it all sounded the same... It took me about the fifth time listening to the album before I actually started to like it. And then the whole thing opened up... Now, I own another recording of the same work, I want the the others by Garden State and Ensemble Modern, and I even own a copy of the score! Long story short, the piece is similar to the encyclopedic exposure of compositional techniques that Philip Glass accomplished in "Music in 12 Parts", but this time in a work of about an hour. The opening Pulses suggest a progression of 11 chords which are expanded into separate mini compositions, the Sections that follow. Each one makes use of a techique, usually addition or subtraction of notes/beats. For example, Section I adds parts by measures while Section II adds one note at a time. Many of the performance practices are up to the performer (such as the number of repetitions to perform). Holding it all together are the metallophone (the bell-like notes) and the bass clarinet, who give cues (since there is no conductor). These provide signposts that can track your progress through the piece... The maracas in Section VI mark an almost halfway point, for example. All these details cannot describe the lush Grammy Award winning sound (which was admittedly achieved through engineering). It is a beautiful landmark in American music.

Put you in a trance

I'm glad this is finally available on itunes, as my ancient CD of the 1978 version has been mysteriously regurgitated by my computer. All I can say is, I believe this is the best bike-riding music ever made. Just get on your bike, get your flow going, and this will take you wherever you need to go. Hypnotic/Futuristic/Beautiful.

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