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iTunes Review

Though Steve Reich had been an innovator for years before composing Music for 18 Musicians in the mid-'70s, this is the work that would be regarded as his masterpiece—a massively influential piece with a profound effect on everything from techno to post-rock. It expanded on Reich's earlier ideas about repetitive, interlocking motifs that evolve slowly over time. This was the first time Reich had applied those ideas to such a large ensemble, and when it earned renown it introduced a whole new musical approach to the larger world. Like some of Reich's other '70s pieces, 18 Musicians is influenced by his study of Balinese gamelan music's complex but organic structure. This work is divided into 14 sections—a dozen that revolve around a small set of chords, featuring strings, pianos, woodwinds, tuned percussion, and vocals in various combinations, bookended by the rhythmic insistence of two "Pulses" sections. Throughout 18 Musicians the length of the phrases is dependent on the players' own natural breath capacities, lending a very human feel to the often otherworldly atmospheres of the piece.

Customer Reviews

Best Performance

This is the best performance I have ever heard of this work. GVSU New Music Ensemble has really captured the true voice of this piece and mastered the style under the wonderful direction of composer Bill Ryan. This really is a moving piece of music and among one of my favorites out of Reich's repertoire.

MF18’s definitive recording.

In terms of performance, production, and mastering, this is the world’s best recording of Music for 18. I get little shivers when the vibes signal changes into the new sections. the whole ride is surreal. this is also the best record ever to nap to - i swear to god it heightens the efficiency of my sleep. A+

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