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4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 17 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000005IYP
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #214,193 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Drumming: Part I
2. Drumming: Part II
3. Part III
4. Drumming: Part IV

Product Description


This was Reich's breakthrough masterpiece, inspired by his studies of African drumming. The patterns throughout this music are so powerful and hypnotic that, once you get involved, it's a shock when it ends an hour later. I have enjoyed this piece most in concert when Reich's ensemble used the maximum number of repetitions allowed (optional in the score). I regret somewhat the decision used in making this recording, which held the timing to under an hour. The first recording of Drumming ran to nearly 90 minutes. But it also ran onto a second CD, and it's no longer available. Meanwhile, for anyone open to the power of this music, this is a disc not to be missed. --Leslie Gerber

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Preface - Probably not for first time Reich buyers (along with Four Organs). Newcomers should get Music for 18 Musicians or Different Trains....
I have to admit I heard the old DG version first on LP many years ago, and have looked for that version on CD ever since. When this version came out, I bought it immediately. In comparison to the DG version, it doesn't hold up.
This version is at least 20 minutes shorter (perhaps a feature for some;) ) than the DG version, but the gradual changes in this version don't happen nearly gradually enough, especially the sections where different players go in and out of phase with each other. It happens so quickly here that it just sounds like the players flubbed their parts. The slower pace of the DG version makes the subtle changes in the piece that much more rewarding.
I was later able to locate a copy of the DG version on CD, and this one has been gathering dust ever since. But since no other version is available, this is worth a listen.
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Format: Audio CD
Since the old, 2CD DG recording of this piece is not available, this is the only choice. "Drumming" is a very fine work by Reich, more rigorous and less immediately lovely than "Music for 18 Musicians," but rewarding nonetheless. It's an important transition piece between his early work and "18." The first section is literally all drumming, and builds through an arch structure using Reich's technique of rhytmic patterns moving in and out of phase. The following sections add tuned percusion, e.g. marimbas, and move towards his newer style of more harmonic richness, with chords gradually building, shifting, conflicting and moving to new tonal centers. Obviously, if Reich's style of Minimalism doesn't appeal, you won't like this CD. But if you enjoy his other work, this will be a great addition to your collection.
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Format: Audio CD
This piece represents a great achievement in the Minimalist approach to writing music. Fresh from studying African drumming, Reich took an entire year to write and revise this masterpiece. It builds on and extends the idea of a single rhythmic pattern played at changing tempos that he explored in earlier tape pieces. Here he develops the idea of 'hidden' or emerging rhytms (playing two different patterns and noticing what third pattern seems to grow from the other two). It is a fascinating piece in that it seems so mechanical in conception and execution but as the patterns weave in and out of one another, building and creating various counterpoints and overtones, an entire more human dimension seems to emerge. You do have to pay attention to it. It seems like background music but it isn't.
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