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Reich: Music for 18 Musicians

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Biography

STEVE REICH

Steve Reich has been called "...America's greatest living composer." (The Village VOICE), "...the most original musical thinker of our time" (The New Yorker) and "...among the great composers of the century" (The New York Times). From his early taped speech pieces It's Gonna Rain (1965) and Come Out (1966) to his and video artist Beryl ... Read more in Amazon's Steve Reich Store

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Reich: Music for 18 Musicians + Music for 18 Musicians
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Ensemble Modern
  • Conductor: Bradley Lubman
  • Composer: Steve Reich
  • Audio CD (6 Mar. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Red Seal
  • ASIN: B00000IFO7
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,531 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Music For 18 Musicians: PulseBradley Lubman 4:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Music For 18 Musicians: Section IBradley Lubman 4:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Music For 18 Musicians: Section IIBradley Lubman 5:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Music For 18 Musicians: Section IiiaBradley Lubman 3:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Music For 18 Musicians: Section IiibBradley Lubman 4:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Music For 18 Musicians: Section IVBradley Lubman 4:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Music For 18 Musicians: Section VBradley Lubman 5:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Music For 18 Musicians: Section VIBradley Lubman 4:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Section VIIBradley Lubman 4:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Music For 18 Musicians: Section VIIIBradley Lubman 4:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Music For 18 Musicians: Section IXBradley Lubman 4:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Music For 18 Musicians: Section XBradley Lubman 1:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Music For 18 Musicians: Section XIBradley Lubman 4:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Music For 18 Musicians: PulseBradley Lubman 3:47£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

RCA 0902668672; RCA - Italia;

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Polymath on 26 Aug. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Heard this for the first time after approximately 10 years at the 2011 BBC Proms with Steve Reich at the helm. Then realised I had lost my cassette tape version years back and so sought out a CD replacement on Amazon. This 1999 recording is the business! Both recording quality and performance are fresh and vibrant. The cover design could have been done by a three year old, but let's not be picky - the performance by Ensemble Modern is perky and inspirational as is SR's sleeve note. Good one!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For the lovers of minimal music: a must have, one of the best albums ever made, wonderful to hear over and over again.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. M. Rhodes on 21 April 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a highly accomplished work by a composer who explored new areas and brought them to maturity. From start to finish, its mesmerising oscillating rhythms hold your attention and offer new insights into the world around you: from the changing seasons, to the interactions of the stars and planets, and the changing nature of human existence. For a work to offer an insight into the nature of life and existence is an astonishing compositional achievement.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
An Academic Approach To 18 12 Dec. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I own all three recordings of Music For 18 Musicians; I suggest that for anyone who is truly interested in the work, owning all three is a must.
In order of preference for me, the recordings go ECM, RCA, and Nonesuch.
No recording of 18 quite captures the piece as it sounds live. (I've had the luck to see it twice with Steve Reich & Musicians at the San Francisco Symphony.) However, the ECM version comes close to duplicating the timbre of the real thing. To my ears, it sounds the most "live".
The RCA/Ensemble Modern recording is perhaps the best performed. Ensemble Modern emphasizes Reich's earlier philosophies about music as a process; they clearly delineate the various instruments and lines in the recording, and they properly accentuate the lead mallet lines. (I say "proper" because that's what it sounded like when I saw 18 performed live.) What this recording lacks in lush beauty, it gains in near-academic perfection.
The new Nonesuch recording was designed from the ground up to be a recording, not a live performance. Most instruments are close-mic'd, which gives the odd feeling of standing next to all of the instruments at the same time. I love it for its open spaces, surprising tempo, and stunning imaging of the mallet instruments. It is as lush and beautiful as the ECM recording, but I prefer the subtleties and pacing of the ECM more.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Ensemble Modern offers a fine reading of "18" 22 April 1999
By Sparky P. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Germany's Ensemble Modern does a fine job on this new recording of "Music for 18 Musicians," the first such recording of this piece by an ensemble not directly connected with the composer (although two percussionists from Reich's Musicians do sit in, and Reich was present during the sessions). But for the most part it is interesting to hear what this piece sounds like but performers other than the Reich circle. However, there are only a few flaws in this recording: 1) While some sections are well structured, there were others that did not get enough attention, such as Section IIIa (one of my favorite sections of the piece), which was way too pitifully short; 2) Occasionally some of the female voices therein sounded strained, especially in the high register. On the other hand, the structures to other sections were well defined and the metalophone cut through very well to signal the ensemble to the next module. While the original 1978 recording may still be the winner and champion, this recording makes a fine addition on its own to the "18" lore. My ideal (almost Utopian) recording? To have some of my favorite sections (such as the aforementioned IIIa and b, plus Sections V-VIII (those of you scoring at home will know what I am talking about)) go on for a very long time (hey, I can take it!), and, through the miracle of overdubbing, Joan La Barbara cover all the vocal parts.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A worthy alternate to Reich's own recordings 29 July 2000
By Louis I. Jaffe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It's generally true that different versions of a piece of music emphasize different aspects, but perhaps more true of Steve Reich's landmark 'Music for 18 Musicians' because it's so densely layered. The Ensemble Modern recording has more of a live feel than either of Reich's own, with the marimbas, xylophones and winds mixed more up front compared to the pianos and voices. Both of the Reich recordings seem to mix all instruments with equal emphasis, creating a monolithic ensemble sound. Ensemble Modern is sloppier than Steve Reich and Musicians, with very occasionally a ragged tempo or a note off key. In the main, though, the playing is very solid. Some of the rhythms have a cooking, almost-pop feel. Altogether I'd rank the this rendition up there with Steve's original ECM recording, putting his recent Nonesuch version third.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Give minimalism a try 29 April 2010
By Eric S. Kim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not a lot of people these days have listened to modern classical music. Or rather, not a lot of people WANT to listen to modern classical music. People always go for Beethoven, Wagner, Brahms, or Tchaikovsky, which is fine. However, classical music of the 20th century can be just as good as the music of the Classical/Romantic era. From impressionistic (Debussy, Respighi) to Avant-garde (Penderecki) to neo-classical (Stravinsky), there are many different forms that can be thoroughly enjoyed. Minimalism is one form that seems to be overlooked by the general public. Some people find it uncomfortable to listen to repetitive melodies and simplistic structures (Philip Glass has been parodied for just that). I personally grew fond of it ever since I heard Glass's music from the film Koyaanisqatsi, and now I have yet another genre to explore. And thanks to Glass, I discovered the music of Steve Reich. And thanks to Reich, I am now own a studio recording of "Music for 18 Musicians."

Born in New York City, Reich has been creating his own works since the 1960's. In 1976, he made it big with "Music for 18 Musicians." It's an hour-long composition, and it relies on repetition and harmonic melodies. Scored for (obviously) 18 musicians, clarinets/bass clarinets, xylophones, marimbas, maracas, pianos, female voices, and a violin & cello are required. You would think that a minimal amount of musicians for a one-hour piece wouldn't be very much, but the music offers SO much. I wouldn't necessarily call "Music for 18 Musicians" the greatest minimal piece of all time, but it can be an excellent selection for those who are interested in minimal classical music. True, it's repetitive, but once you listen from beginning to end, you might appreciate the genre a bit more.

As for this specific recording, Ensemble Modern sounds marvelous. Everything seems perfectly balanced; you can hear each instrument clearly from beginning to end. And the sound quality is so clear and refined (another job well done from RCA!).

Grade: A
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful recording... 9 Jun. 2004
By Jonny B - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is an excellent recording, with emphasis on the processes which occur during the piece, allowing the listener to understand and enjoy the piece simultaneously. Owning lots of the Ensemble Modern's work, I can say that I have always enjoyed the pieces more because of the brilliant audio quality of recordings that they create, and this is no exception. Worth a listen.
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