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Drumming


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Audio CD, November 11, 2003
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$15.30 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Reich: Drumming - Part IRuss Hartenberger24:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Reich: Drumming - Part IIBen Harms25:22$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Reich: Drumming - Part IIIRuss Hartenberger15:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Reich: Drumming - Part IVBen Harms18:58$0.99  Buy MP3 

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 (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,429 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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78 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Louie Bourland on 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 By Kevin Currie-Knight VINE VOICE on 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 By Philip R. Olenick on 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 By Michael Bettine on 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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