A composer unique in his own systematic musical processes, Steve Reich's approach to music making is one of sonic exploration, tangled complexity, and formulas laden with rhythmic intensity. Frequently based on tonal canonic motives, his harmonies phase seamlessly together to create a mesmerizing musical environment. Presented chronologically in reverse order of time composed, this recording presents three seminal works by Reich that demonstrate his unyielding evolution from minimalist to modernist. Reminiscent of the classic "Music for 18 Musicians" from the mid-seventies, "New York Counterpoint," displays Reich's pulsing sonorities, convincingly interpreted by clarinetist Evan Ziporyn. The intricate "Eight Lines," revised in 1983, blends calm, elongated string lines against a backdrop of coloristic woodwinds in contrapuntal fury. "Four Organs", composed in 1970, shows a compositional structure in the form of uncompromising minimalism. The music is absolutely static, played flawlessly by maracas and four Farfisa organs. In Reich's own words, "The tones would simply begin in unison..., and then gradually extend out like a sort of horizontal bar graph in time."
Who better than Reich's own musicians could pull off such an amazing clinical performance of this music? New York resident ensemble Bang on a Can. A must have for any Reich enthusiast.