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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great and the Good, 17 Nov 2005
By 
Sordel (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Reich: Works (1965-1995) [BOX SET] (Audio CD)
I bought many of the Nonesuch recordings in this splendid set at a premium price as they were originally released, but having them together in a boxed set at this very attractive price was inevitable. New recordings of four works make the boxed set almost essential for a Reich enthusiast, and the rest of the set should make it equally tempting for a more casual listener.

At first, ten discs of Reich may look like nine too many, especially if your exposure to minimalism has been via the diminishing pleasures on offer from Philip Glass. In reality, however, there is a good deal of progress & variety across Reich's career, meaning that these discs span a number of rewarding works.

The early phase experiments are well represented, with "Come Out" (a tape piece) providing the best demonstration of Reich's experiments. Entire discs are then devoted to major early works "Drumming" and (freshly recorded) "Music for 18 Musicians". These works are the basis of Reich's early reputation, and are thoroughly contextualised by the other, less substantial works of this period.

Personally, I could do without the overblown choral/orchestral cantata "The Desert Music", but the sparer and more successful "Sextet" and the very beautiful "Tehillim" represent the same period to better effect. As Reich became in demand in the concert house he provided two effective but minor orchestral works "The Four Sections" and "Three Movements" which demonstrate his techniques' application to more conventional forces.

"The Cave", a large-scale multimedia piece, is represented here by a full disc of extracts, but most listeners will probably focus more on two other works using samples: "City Life" (the most successful of his late ensemble pieces) and "Different Trains", which is certainly one of the most celebrated string quartets of the last half century, and rightly so.

In terms of omissions for the period covered by this box, the only glaring absences here are the Gamelan-influenced "Variations for Keyboards, Winds and Strings" (1979),"Music for a Large Ensemble" (1978) and the charming "Vermont Counterpoint" (1982). One might also complain about the fact that "Six Pianos", a seminal work, is here presented in a transcription for marimba, but this is to seek flaw in a box that makes a compelling case for the continued importance of one of America's truly major composers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must, 26 Jan 2013
This review is from: Reich: Works (1965-1995) [BOX SET] (Audio CD)
Nothing special to say: it's Steve Reich; the box set worth to be bought just only for "Music for 18 musicians", one of the masterpiece of the music all (beyond minimaslim).
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9 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a master opus, 1 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Reich: Works (1965-1995) [BOX SET] (Audio CD)
this is a wonderful set to own, but not only that, it is a wonderful set to listen to. sounds like an obvious thing to say, but you'll know how true it is when this can't spend a day sitting on the shelf without enduring yet more turns in the stereo.
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Reich: Works (1965-1995) [BOX SET]
Reich: Works (1965-1995) [BOX SET] by Steve Reich (Audio CD - 1997)
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