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Part I - Steve Reich - Drumming / Music For Mallet Instruments, Voices And Organ / Six Pianos


1974
Label: Deutsche Grammophon - 2740 106 • Format: 3x, Vinyl LP Box Set • Country: Germany • Genre: Classical • Style: Post-Modern, Contemporary
Download Part I - Steve Reich - Drumming / Music For Mallet Instruments, Voices And Organ / Six Pianos

This three-LP set, released on Deutsche Grammophon inis arguably the pinnacle of minimalism. Along with Terry Riley 's In C and perhaps Glass ' Looking For You - David Newman, Various - Norbit (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) piano Canaval - Manix - Tam Tam 2000, Drumming defined the essential component of this new form of music: a transparent process that could imperceptibly lead to bewildering complexity.

Crucially, Reich added an extra ingredient: rhythms derived from his studies of West African drumming, giving the work an inherent vitality sometimes missing from his contemporaries. Drumming is a minute piece laid out in four sections, one apiece for small tuned drums played with malletsmarimbas, and glockenspiels, ending with a combination of all three plus the addition of voices mimicking the percussion.

Beginning with Voices And Organ / Six Pianos single struck drum, notes are added little by little, apparently simply filling the voids between them but, almost before the listener realizes it, suddenly being heard as new rhythmic patterns themselves, taking on a miraculously shifting guise.

One can virtually choose to hear any of a number of rhythms depending on how one organizes the sounds in one's head. Indeed, Reich allowed his musicians to "discover" various rhythms for themselves and accent them accordingly. The process is fairly similar in each section, the palette changing from the beautifully resonant drums to the luscious marimbas to glockenspiels, the massed character of which add an extra element: ringing overtones.

In DrummingReich arrived at the perfect combination of intellectual rigor and corporeal sensuousness, neither side predominating, both in clear and glorious presence. Six Pianos applies approximately the same strategies to multiple keyboards to intriguing, if ultimately less successful, effect. Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ is a preliminary step down the path Reich would take in coming years, using longer melodic lines and a looser, more expansive rhythmic system.

Very beautiful in and of itself, one can't help but think that the composer really made Part I - Steve Reich - Drumming / Music For Mallet Instruments major statement earlier, in Drummingand that much of what would follow would be elaboration on those basic ideas.

As ofthis set had not been issued on disc, although Drumming was given a fine re-recording on Nonesuch in the late 80's. Still, the palpable sense of excitement on the part of the amazing musicians involved interestingly enough, including the British composer Cornelius Cardew is impossible to duplicate and Reich fans owe it to themselves to search out the original. This is a monumentally profound and important recording.

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8 thoughts on “ Part I - Steve Reich - Drumming / Music For Mallet Instruments, Voices And Organ / Six Pianos ”

Nele
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