Steve Reich's "Drumming" is an amazing piece of work showing how much you can do with one - yes one - continuous musical phrase. Sometimes I even feel guilty when thinking, "Goodness, I wish Reich would do just one more phasing piece". I love the old Reich and am not afraid to admit it. This album, then, is a dream come true.
Whiile I am a young fan (26) from what I can ascertain this was the original 1973 recording. Maybe it is becuase the piece was so new then but this recording has much more life in it than the Nonesuch. Particularly the first and second movement are noticeable in that the first is more bombastic towards its apex while the second while in some senses calmer than the Nonesuch recording, has this hidden forward motion-energy that is more powerful than the Nonesuch track.
All in all, this piece is a joy and I jump at the chance to hear any recording of it. The only complaints are slight. AS it is a '73 recording, some of the overtones in the second and third movements occasionally sound out of tune (the low marimba and a few of the glockenspiel tones for example) - not because they WERE out, but because (my guess) they recorded that way. Second, of course, is the fact taht one cannot listen straight through, as this is a two-disc set. Small potatoes in relation to such a good recording!