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Steve Reich: Sextet, Clapping Music, Music For Pieces Of Wood Hybrid SACD, SACD

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Conductor: Neil Percy
  • Composer: Steve Reich
  • Audio CD (10 Jun. 2016)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: LSO Live
  • ASIN: B01EB2Z5HA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  Vinyl |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,456 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Product description

Product Description

LSO Live explore the music of America s most influential living composer with performances of three of his most iconic works: 'Sextet', 'Clapping Music' and 'Music for Pieces of Wood'. Employing Reich s universally recognisable sound world, 'Sextet' uses hypnotic repetitions of a sequence of harmonies, which gradually overlap and interweave, resulting in a complex yet utterly compelling musical landscape. Introducing more dissonance and aggressive rhythms than previous compositions, the relationship of the five movements is that of an arch form, A-B-C-B-A. Changes of tempo are made abruptly at the beginning of new movements by metric modulation and sections are also organised harmonically with a chord cycle for the first and fifth. Reich says of the work, "The ambiguity here is between which is melody and which is accompaniment. In music that uses a great deal of repetition, I believe it is precisely these kinds of ambiguity that give vitality and life." Composed in 1972, 'Clapping Music' strips back to the bare essentials, taking traditional African rhythms as its starting point. Conceived from a desire to compose music "that would need no instrument beyond the human body" it is perhaps the most elemental example of phasing in the composer s catalogue. The whole work consists of a single rhythmic cell which becomes staggered as the work progresses, creating an entrancing and hypnotic effect. Having previously performed the work with the composer, Neil Percy delivers an inspired performance alongside his LSO Co-Principal, Sam Walton. 'Music for Pieces of Wood' takes this concept a step further, adding pitches, in the form of claves tuned A, B, C#, D# and D# an octave above. The claves are chosen for their resonant timbre and the piece is one of the loudest the composer has written, despite using no amplification whatsoever. Neil Percy, LSO Principal Percussionist and Ensemble Director, says of his relationship with these pieces and the composer: 'The thing I enjoy most about playing the music of Steve Reich is its diversity, its complexity, its challenging nature... We ve played so many pieces of Steve s over the years with him being present, so it s got a very personal set of challenges that I find completely irresistible. That s why, on this particular project for LSO Live, we tried to put together a programme that reflected all of the pieces that the group themselves really like to play.' Neil Percy, Ensemble Director, has enjoyed 20 years as Principal Percussionist of the London Symphony Orchestra and 12 years as Head of the Timpani and Percussion at the Royal Academy of Music. During this time, he has worked closely with many major artists and conductors and as a soloist with Steve Reich, Sir Colin Davis, Pierre Boulez, Karl Jenkins, Ravi Shankar, Kent Nagano and Elgar Howarth.


'Pieces of Wood is given an excellent rendition on this live recording, as if the precise mechanism of a complex clock had been carefully deconstructed before being pieced back together. The LSO percussion s performance of Sextet (1985) also builds up in energy and momentum to a quite thrilling climax' --Pwyll ap Siôn Gramophone, September 2016

Performance ***** Recording **** 'The LSO Percussion Ensemble s riveting recording [of Music for Pieces of Wood] has the bonus of being live. Moreover, they take it very fast indeed...and accomplish it brilliantly. I ve found Sextet heavy and congested in the past: not here. They achieve a wonderfully transparent weave through which the bowed marimba notes shine like rays of light through water.' --Hellen Wallace - BBC Music Magazine, December 2016

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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 November 2016
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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on 16 November 2016
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VINE VOICEon 8 November 2016
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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on 11 June 2016
Format: Audio CD
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Most helpful customer reviews on 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 reviews
One person found this helpful.
4.0 out of 5 starsI would buy this for the sextet
on 25 June 2016 - Published on
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsRhythms that reverberate and are worth exploring
on 9 November 2016 - Published on
Format: Audio CD

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