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Steve Reich: Sextet - Six Marimbas

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iTunes Review

From Drumming to Music for 18 Musicians and beyond, percussion is central to Steve Reich's sound. That has seldom been more effectively underlined than on this 1986 album. Sextet features four percussionists playing multiple marimbas, vibraphones, and more, plus two keyboardists. The self-explanatory Six Marimbas is the percussive adaptation of Six Pianos, which Reich wrote in 1973. Reich's work has almost always been about blurring lines between melodies and between rhythms. But on Sextet, even the boundaries between instruments are obscured—the piano plays percussively, the synthesizer employs an organ-like tone, and the vibes are bowed to produce elongated, synth-like sounds. The instrumental roles are clearly defined on Six Marimbas, of course, but that doesn't keep the melodic lines from freely intermingling in classic Reich fashion, frequently evoking his aforementioned classic works from the '70s. And while Sextet features more harmonic development, both pieces here take you on a transformative journey.

Customer Reviews

5 stars for "Six Marimbas"

If Steve Reich were played on the radio, "Six Marimbas" would be a hit single. I find all of Reich's work to be incredibly intellectually stimulating, but "Six Marimbas" goes beyond mental exercise to become truly emotionally engaging. Wonderfully warm and lush, this is my favorite piece of Steve Reich. A beautiful song. Definetly worth the price of the album.

Six Marimbas

Steve Reich does it right -you think that the rhytms at first are all the same but there is suttle differences that the ear picks up and you begin to run with the small gestures and rhytms that grow on you knawing away at your inner core. It is a little like listening to birds waiting desperately for a change of tune.

What's the holdup?

This album has been "under construction" for weeks now, unable to be purchased....would like to buy. Thanks in advance.


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, 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 while...
Full Bio

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