Magazine article New Internationalist

Daniel Variations

Magazine article New Internationalist

Daniel Variations

Article excerpt

Daniel Variations

by Steve Reich (Nonesuch 7559 799 494 CD)

Daniel Pearl was an American journalist who was taken hostage, then murdered most cruelly by Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan in 2002. His final words, as recorded in the video made by his captors, were 'I am Jewish'.

Pearl's killing has already inspired many responses: the film, A Mighty Mean, is probably the best known. Steve Reich, on the other hand, picks up on another motif as a way of paying tribute: Pearl was an amateur violinist, and it's this detail that fuels the composer's homage. The commissioning of Reich for this work is an obvious one: since 1989's Different Trains, much of the American's work has been a deep interrogation of his own Jewish faith and tradition. …

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