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Triple Quartet

Steve Reich Audio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 24.93 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

1. Triple Quartet: First Movement
2. Triple Quartet: Second Movement
3. Triple Quartet: Third Movement
4. Electric Guitar Phase
5. Music for a Large Ensemble
6. Tokyo/Vermont Counterpoint

Product Description


The Kronos Quartet's advocacy of contemporary music is one of the wonders of our time. Here the four players appear in triplicate, performing Steve Reich's Triple Quartet by pre-recording two quartets and playing the third simultaneously with the tape. As they have demonstrated time and time again in their vast repertoire, they possess the razor-sharp precision Reich's music begs for. The clear, closely miked recording means that the interplay of part work is consistently fascinating. The Kronos brings out an almost Copland-like quality in the second movement, which speaks of quiet, open spaces. The four pieces on this disc offer a perfectly balanced, musically satisfying set of contrasts. Electric Guitar Phase is a 2001 version of the 1967 Violin Phase with Dominic Frasca overdubbing the four electric guitar parts. Exuding a purer minimalism than Triple Quartet, Electric Guitar Phase is heady and hypnotic. Music for Large Ensemble is a glittering, xylophone/marimba-decorated panorama of sound, but it is a fitting tribute to the talents of marimba player Mika Yoshida that Tokyo/Vermont Counterpoint acts as a satisfying climax to the disc. Originally for flutes, alto flutes and piccolos and entitled merely Vermont Counterpoint, Yoshida's own arrangement is a truly virtuoso feat, gripping from first to last. --Colin Clarke

Product Description

Over a decade after their last collaboration - which produced the 150,000-selling Grammy winner "Different Trains" - Steve Reich and Kronos deliver a world premiere recording which features an overdubbed, three-layered performance by the quartet in a work whose expressive energy marks a high point in the composer's compositional style. With a spirit that mirrors its primary source of inspiration - the last movement of Bartok's Fourth Quartet - the TRIPLE QUARTET has met with critical praise in Kronos' concert performances since its composition in 1999. ELECTRIC GUITAR PHASE is a new version of Violin Phase for four overdubbed electric guitars made by the guitarist Dominic Frasco, and takes the original music to a new zone of swirling hypnosis. MUSIC FOR LARGE ENSEMBLE is performed here by young conductor Alan Pierson directing the ensembles Ossia (from the Eastman School) and Alarm Will Sound in a revised edition of the piece with added violins. TOYKO/VERMONT COUNTERPOINT for midi-marimbas (KAT controllers) is a new version of Vermont Counterpoint, originally for winds. Mika Yoshida, a Japanese percussionist, made the arrangement and performs all the parts: A radically different take on the source, and one with a dazzling quasi-electronica feel, as well as a sense of humor. In all, this new Reich assortment - a major new work partnered with fresh versions of other pieces - is a vivid portrait of the artist's work now, as well as a keen reminder of how current his earlier music continues to feel, decades after its composition.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff.. June 10 2004
By Jonny B
Format:Audio CD
From the sharp, discerning Triple Quartet, to Tokyo-Vermont Counterpoint, this CD is worth hearing to see an insight into Reich's later works, (starting with Triple Quartet), and it was brilliant to hear a revision of Music for a Large Ensemble, although I cannot really say that it tops the original in terms of colour and rhythm. Tokyo-Vermont Counterpoint shows the musical processes in a more precise way than the flutes, although the natural timbre of the flutes can be more pleasing. Electric Guitar Phase is worth hearing for a re-interpretation of Violin Phase, because the resulting patterns sound so interesting with such a different light shone on them. Overall a very successful CD.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for Electric Guitar Phase. May 21 2003
Format:Audio CD
The rest of it is actually pretty boring. not boring like the desert music though so it's okay.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wow! March 12 2003
By I X Key
Format:Audio CD
Steve Reich is such a great creative genius. The title piece, Triple Quartet, is very new music for Steve Reich. One factor in this was that just before & during composition of this piece he heard Schnittke for this first time. It's different from other music by Reich, but it's also quintissentially Reich. To me it kind of feels like a caravan, camels & sands & silks & all. It's the Kronos Quartet playing over 2 tapes of themselves.
Electric Guitar Phase is a rescoring of Violin Phase, & it sounds very different from the original. The electric guitar, with some distortion, is certainly a change.
The Music for a Large Ensemble on this cd is a revised version of the original piece, & it does sound very different. Good work, Reich, I do prefer the new version on this cd.
Tokyo/Vermont Counterpoint is crazy music. This & Electric Guitar Phase are the 2 pieces on this great cd that feel extremely futuristic in different ways. After numerous times people tried to perform it, this is the only one to satisfy Steve Reich.
I wouldn't recommend this cd as an introduction to Steve Reich's music, but for established fans it's very exciting new music from a protean composer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great recycle and new materials June 4 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Here you get a lot of Reich minimalist styles over the years.
Kronos play -as usual- well on this one in Bartok style and they taped themself and overdubbed it with a stunning result.
about the guitar piece... well I prefer Jeff Beck do stuff like this but it grows and... why nt? but for me it this albums weak point so I, because of this guitar track, was consider give this record a four star insted of five.
The best is the two last splendid minimalist pices for large orchestra and that midiplayed Japanese/Vermont piece.
Great sound and a good start for a newie to Riech music. Other here on Amazon complain about that most of it is "old" stuff... yes it is but it is improved, revised and comes with a better sound so if you are intrested in modern american minimalist music dont hesitate to grab this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars mechanical electric March 14 2002
Format:Audio CD
Here Steve Reich offers a refreshed experiencing of the old pieces Violin Phase & Music for a Large Ensemble. Violin Phase sounds markedly futuristic, compelling, rescored for electric guitar -- especially the swarming pulse section in the middle. Music for a Large Ensemble, while recognisable as the same piece it was before, has been rewritten & reworked for this version. Triple Quartet, featuring the Kronos quartet playing over tapes of themselves, is, wirthin the parameters of his mechanical composition, as new sound for Reich, written after he heard Schnittke for the first time & also with inspiration from Bartok. Tokyo/Vermont Counterpoint for midi marimba is a very different experimental piece with a sense of humor. The tiny pulses that come in for the end make me grin widely.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly flat rendering of Reich Dec 1 2001
Format:Audio CD
A characteristic of better performances of Steve Reich is the how the dense rythmic structure creates a complex and expansive aural space. This disc's flat recording of adequate performances reduces that sonic architecture to graphic design: absolutely two-dimensional. I'm a longtime fan of Reich's work, but the most interesting aspect of this Nonesuch disc is its cover art.
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