Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 324 words on minimalism, 31 May 2006
This review is from: Three Tales (Pal) (Audio CD)
If you're looking for inspirational and tuneful music don't waste your money on Three Tales but if you want to hear - and watch - something that's thought provoking and intelligent you'll probably enjoy it.

This package comprises a CD and a DVD produced by Beryl Korot which compliments Reich's musical score. There is an additional track on the DVD and a number of additional features.

The idea of video `Music theatre' works well however, it must be said there are no new compositional techniques offered. The DVD is the best medium to appreciate the work however music contained on the CD stands up well in isolation. Initially I was surprised that the visual component appeared so conservative but on reflection it's starkness and stilted delivery suits the rigours of minimalism.

The theme explored in Three Tales is `...the differing human attitudes to technology' using the crash of the Hindenburg, the atomic experiments at Bikini atoll and the cloning of Dolly the sheep as `signposts'. I found the choice of events dismal but they're Reich's prerogative so it's up to you if you buy into his reasons for using them.

All three pieces use the spoken word (sourced from interviews or period news reports) spliced together with some quite interesting musical compositions and slightly one dimensional choral arrangements. The final piece `Dolly' makes the most comprehensive use of `phased' interview material. I felt that Reich's attempt to give the feeling of a chronological continuum through the three pieces was largely successful and the juxtaposition of scientific and biblical references was particularly striking

Three Tales falls firmly within the genre associated with Reich if you like his other stuff you'll like this, if not you won't.

Despite Reich's protestations to the contrary the final impression of Three Tales is that technological innovation is both oppressive and toxic. Three Tales is well written, well performed and well produced but you won't be whistling it in the shower.
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4.3 out of 5 stars (3 customer reviews)
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