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Steve Reich Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Price: $17.32 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 4 Songs, 2003 $11.49  
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Disc 1:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Reich: Drumming - Part IRuss Hartenberger24:34Album Only
listen  2. Reich: Drumming - Part IIBen Harms25:22Album Only

Disc 2:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Reich: Drumming - Part IIIRuss Hartenberger15:40Album Only
listen  2. Reich: Drumming - Part IVBen Harms18:58Album Only

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Drumming + Music for 18 Musicians + Steve Reich: Octet / Music for a Large Ensemble / Violin Phase
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Product Details

  • Composer: Steve Reich
  • Audio CD (November 11, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B0000D7Z63
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,814 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
78 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original "Drumming" Is Back!! December 9, 2003
Format:Audio CD
"Drumming" is composer Steve Reich's most adventurous and challenging composition. Composed between 1970 and 1971, "Drumming" takes the genre of percussion-based music to a new level. Its use of syncopated and phase-shifting rhythms remains innovative (and some would say pioneering) even today.
The original recording of "Drumming" was made in Germany in 1974 and was released on the Deutsch Grammaphone Label. This version had been unavailable for many years and had become a sought-after collectors item. However, all things must come to pass because now, the much sought-after original recording of "Drumming" has been issued on CD for the very first time at its original length of 84-minutes (the later 1987 recording on Nonesuch Records featured a trimmed-down version running at 56-minutes).
"Drumming" is divided into four distinct parts or movements. The first part is performed entirely on three sets of tuned bongos played with drumsticks. It begins with a single drumbeat which builds up to a syncopated rhythm which carries the entire piece the rest of the way. Throughout it's 25-minutes, this opening section explores nearly every possibility of what can be done with a single simple repeated rhythm. The method of 'phase-shifting' (having one player go out of synch with the other) adds further complexity.
The first part leads directly into the second part as the bongos fade out and the marimbas take over. The marimbas carry on with the piece's simple rhythm which is augmented by two female singers mimicking the pitches with vocal scats. As this part of the piece progresses, the marimbas gradually move from their lowest register to their highest.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More alive than the Nonesuch recording! December 3, 2003
Format:Audio CD
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!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A philosophical work February 18, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I first heard "Drumming" on my car radio (of all places, of course it was probably WBAI-FM in New York) when it first came out in the early seventies. I pulled over to the side of the road to listen, so hypnotic was its rhythm. I have the original three-LP Deutch Grammophone version (the third disk contains two other pieces), which I put on tonight for the first time in many years, and came here to Amazon in hopes of finding a DVD-based version that would play straight through without interruption. (I guess that's still in the future.)

What "Drumming" has always conjured up for me are images from fractal geometry, chaos theory, and evolution - it asserts, wordlessly, that the human being is the product of inevitable processes of differentiation and elaboration, as subtle phase shifts produce beat frequencies and harmonics, starting with a simple syncopated drumbeat, and calling forth the existence of marimbas, flutes, glockenspeils, and eventually the human voice, in order to reach its final expression.

I'm not usually a fan of classical music - jazz is my thing, since it expresses human individuality and group cooperation with a blues-based scale that's a *harmonic* syncopation - but "Drumming" transcends musical categories. As Duke Ellington always said, there are only two kinds of music: good music and bad music.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Masterpiece of Minimalism October 7, 2004
Format:Audio CD
If you are going to own only one Reich recording, this is the one to own. "Drumming" is a defining moment in both American and 20th century music. With it, Reich successfully took his earlier work with tape compositions that moved "in and out of phase" into the realm of live human performance. Based on a short, simple, repetitive rhythmic pattern, the music ventures through various "shifts" as the musicians move in and out of time with each other. The result is that from one short rhythmic motif, longer and more intricate phrases are created and woven together to create a more complex music out of minimalist means. The resulting music bears a resemblance to both Indian ragas and Balinese Gamelan music in the way these longer phrases/rhythmic patterns expand and contract. Rather than being redundant, the music is hypnotic, drawing the listener in.

This Deutsch Grammophon recording restores a long sought after nearly 85 minute version that has been long out of print. Recorded in 1974, a few years after the composition was written, there is an energy and freshness to the performance. Perhaps what sets this above all other recorded versions is that Reich himself both performs with, and supervises his hand picked musicians, making this the "director's cut" of his minimalist masterpiece.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Repetition in a truly fascinating way....
Originally released in 1973, this version is the re-released updated version of the seminal work of composer and minimalist "Steve Reich". Read more
Published on May 17, 2007 by fetish_2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite enjoyable
The music brings back memories of West African drumming but is more familiar to the American ear.
Published on January 11, 2007 by D. A. Nafziger
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to Basics
Back in the mid-80s when Reich, Glass, Adams, Riley, and Nyman moved from fringe to big time, they all got commissions from larger ensembles. Read more
Published on January 9, 2007 by W. Scott Smoot
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, absolutely amazing
I could blather on about this album for a good while and since the other reviewers take you into a more in depth analysis of such an extraordinary album I'll just say this venture... Read more
Published on December 19, 2005 by filterite
5.0 out of 5 stars like dying and going to Heaven
at least if you can hear it live, which I did at BAM in the early 80s; but even if you can't, the recording still provides something of the eerie visceral sensation that... Read more
Published on November 1, 2005 by paedagogue
1.0 out of 5 stars Minimalism at its worst, Reich has done better elsewhere
DRUMMING is Steve Reich's longest work, two full discs of minimalist rhythms performed by an occasionally changing ensemble. Read more
Published on May 10, 2005 by Christopher Culver
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recording, available with more though...
This is clearly the best recording of Drumming. The long phase shifts have an incredible effect, and the performance is note perfect for the whole hour and a half! Read more
Published on May 19, 2004 by Jonny B
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth The Wait
After repeatedly restraining myself from buying the truncated Nonesuch 'Drumming', I finally gave in to my urge by getting this re-release of the original 85-minute recording from... Read more
Published on December 8, 2003 by Timothy Dougal
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