- Audio CD (Jan. 1 2011)
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: SRI Canada
- ASIN: B00006H6B5
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,075 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
In fact, Alan's interpretations weren't just birthed at Eastman -- they began years before in other places, and here is the shining result. Rhythm that bounces out of the box from the first note, voices and instruments perfectly in tune with incredible inflection (non vibrato and tinged with both classical and jazz sensibility), unprecedented brisk tempi (putting into new contrast Reich's exquisitely frozen slow movements), and a jaw-dropping sense of dance energy throughout. The level of swing going on here is contagious but clear and unforced, so that when that extra drive over the top is needed for climactic moments, it's there in shocking proportion yet still in control. Just phenomenal. They almost sound like new pieces now, or a new way of hearing Reich that perhaps was only possible a few generations later.
Reich's revisions are wonderful. I never once missed the extra brass and strings from the old Desert Music -- all the same gestures are there but are allowed to move and breathe like never before. I agree there's something very special about that old Tehillim on ECM, but this new one is so different in character and so winsome, you can't help but be glad it's here.Read more ›
This recording of Tehillim I think is the best one yet, & I suppose since this is the most recently revised (early 2003 BCE)version of The Desert Music, it is the most basic important one to have in your cd collection. If you have an earlier rec ording of The Desert Music, this one is different, & by now, so long after the first recorded version, this is the masterful composer's favorite himself. You should become familiar with this. Or be decades behind. Decades. Behind. As in out of touch.
Meanwhile, the singers' voices in The Desert Music are more individually characterized than before, allowing you to hear the text more clearly in voices that are dramatically free of any vibrato whatsoever, giving the singing a pure but momentous sound. I agree that the larger body of strings used in MTT's version is missed in the opening of the last movement, but otherwise I prefer the fiddlers in this version for their cracker jack playing. Quicker tempos accentuate the exuberance of Reich's syncopations. (This performance shaves 5 minutes off MTT's version.)
If I could only have one version of these pieces this would be the one I would buy. Actually, this recording is a better deal than what is currently available: The Desert Music on Nonesuch is unaccompanied by a second work, a situation which is also true of Tehillim on ECM.Read more ›
I still prefer the premier recording of Tehillim that was released on the ECM label. This version is improved with greater transparency, a faster tempo, crisp recording and a tighter performance overall. However there is just something missing here in that I find the ECM performance just to be more exciting overall. The vocalists on the ECM recording convey more passion in my opinion. Still this is a fine re-interpretation of Tehillim.
The new recording of the Desert Music is much improved over the original recording done by Michael Tilson Thomas. Not that MTT's recording is bad mind you - quite the opposite. I was in love with the Desert Music, believing that it was (is) Reich's best work, and that was the MTT original recording that I was in love with. However, this new interpretation just makes a great work even better. The tempo is much faster which enhances the impact of the work and just seems to fit the music better than the more leisurely pace set by MTT. Also the smaller forces involved bring more clarity to the score.
"A truly outstanding ensemble. Their recording of Tehillim is an absolute knockout... Read more