Magazine article Gramophone

Reich: WTC 9/11

Magazine article Gramophone

Reich: WTC 9/11

Article excerpt

Reich WTC 9/11. Different Trains Tana Quartet Megadisc (F) MDC7877 (43' * DDD)

Steve Reich began transforming speech into music in the mid-1960s. I vividly remember my first encounter with Come Out (1966) as a young music student, and how my initial reaction of dismissive exasperation quickly changed to one of mesmerised delight. Come Out worked its magic through overlapping loops of the spoken phrase 'come out to show them' moving out of phase, so that the actual meaning of the words became subsumed in musical abstraction.

In Different Trains (1988), Reich drastically changed course, using the cadence of spoken phrases to generate melodic ideas. The problem here is that the highly charged expressive content of the words is rarely matched by the musical outcome, and particularly when the subject is genocide--or, in the case of WTC 9/11 (2010), terrorism.

Both Different Trains and WTC 9/11 were written for, premiered and recorded by the Kronos Quartet (Nonesuch, 6/89, 11/11). …

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