Steve Reich

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Steve Reich
From Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" to Coldplay's "Clocks," echoes of Steve Reich can be heard. His sound pervades the samplings of hip-hop and the tense strains of film music.

On October 3rd, Steve Reich celebrates his 70th birthday. Here's an annotated look at his most influential works.

Read John Diliberto's blog entry, "Steve Reich push-started my VW bug and minimalism...."
 

PHASES
If you what to get immersed in the Steve Reich oeuvre, this 5-CD retrospective is the place to start. It covers his most important works including the tape loop piece, "It's Gonna Rain," "Drumming," and "Music for 18 Musicians." It's the best one stop shop for Steve Reich.

Steve Reich

 

Steve Reich
MUSIC FOR 18 MUSICIANS
If you only have one Steve Reich album, this is the one two have, a single 67 minute composition that takes you on a mesmerizing journey into fractal variations. The possibilities are endless and it still leaves you wanting more. This is the Holy Grail for everyone including Steve Roach, Mark Isham, BT, and Brian Eno.

Steve Reich

TEHILLIM
Reich sets four Hebraic psalms in his most melodically arresting work that is both modern and mediaeval. Four sopranos invoke the psalms over Reich's colorfully interlocking cycles of percussion, winds and strings. Tehillim connected the dots between early music and minimalism, sacred texts and spiritual performance.

  DIFFERENT TRAINS
The heavy metal side of Reich peeks out in this work for the Kronos Quartet and spoken voices. Its relentless drive sends you pummeling through Reich's meditation on the times of the holocaust. The original version also includes his Electric Counterpoint for Pat Metheny.

Steve Reich

DRUMMING
This originally came out on a multi-LP set from Deutsche Gramophon that included two other pieces.  Nonesuch put out a single CD version that's shorter, but the original version is still available as a two CD set.  Drumming is the iconic turning point piece in Reich's music, a 90 minute or so percussive evolution that laid the groundwork for all his subsequent music. This is the Zen album of minimalism.

Steve Reich
 
Steve Reich
EARLY WORKS
This is for the hard core. Early Works features three of Reich's seminal 60's compositions. The two definitive tape loop pieces, "It's Gonna Rain" and "Come Out" are here, as is "Piano Phase," which brought his tape loop phasing techniques to acoustic instruments .


BOOKS

Writings on Music Writings on Music,
1965-2000

By Steve Reich
Buy It

American Minimal MusicAmerican Minimal Music:
LaMonte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass

By Wim Mertens
Buy It

Four Musical Minimalists Four Musical Minimalists: La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass
By Keith Potter
Buy It


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