9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A great recording of this classic work, better than Tilson Thomas and best on SACD,
This review is from: Reich: Three Movements/ The Desert Music (Audio CD)
This was the first piece of Steve Reich I got to know well when it was done at the Proms in around 1987. I found it mesmeric and haunting, but with the slightly more accessible nature of Reich's later works. My philistine ex-wife didn't like it, so I knew it had to be good... I've owned the original Michael Tilson Thomas version since it came out in 1990 and love it, but had I ever reviewed it would have given it four stars because of the slightly shrill chorus and rather clangy, dated recording, though the orchestral playing's very good.
This is both a better performance and a better recording. The former is taught yet musical, slower tempi are given space to breathe, faster ones sound controlled and rapid without being rushed. The ensemble is impeccable, the individual playing top notch and the chorus manage to sound controlled and dynamic without becoming shrill. I have the benefit of a really good Stereo SACD player, and this really makes the most of the extra spaciousness and dynamic headroom of that medium. The CD layer is good, powerful, dynamic and musical, so the basic quality of the recording is first rate. But it really comes to life and pops out of the speakers on SACD as well as sounding less artificial and more natural.
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Initial post: 21 Sep 2011 20:48:24 BDT
One more opinion says:
I wonder what your philistine ex-wife thinks about her geeky ex-husband!?
Good review, that aside.
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