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Phases: A Nonesuch Retrospective Box set


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Audio CD, Box set, September 26, 2006
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Frequently Bought Together

Phases: A Nonesuch Retrospective + Terry Riley: In C + Music For 18 Musicians
Price for all three: $73.36

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 26, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000H3095G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,469 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Music For 18 Musicians
Disc: 2
1. Different Trains
2. Tehillim
3. Eight Lines
Disc: 3
1. (You Are) Variations
2. New York Counterpoint
3. Cello Counterpoint
4. Electric Counterpoint
See all 5 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Come Out
2. Proverb
3. The Desert Music
Disc: 5
1. Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices, and Organ
2. Drumming

Editorial Reviews

Phases: A Nonesuch Retrospective is an essential CD companion to the extraordinary range of events in the United States and Europe on October 3rd, 2006 celebrating Steve Reich's 70th birthday.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Autonomeus on October 21, 2006
Format: Audio CD
If you are a big Steve Reich fan, you probably already have most or all of these recordings. These are not rarities, PHASES is not for collectors -- this 5-disc box is aimed at those of us who have been curious, but not convinced enough to buy multiple Reich recordings. I, for instance, consider MUSIC FOR 18 MUSICIANS to be a masterpiece of late 20th century music (the original ECM recording), but I haven't been nearly as impressed by the other Reich music I've heard. I consider this box to be a gift, and now I have finally satisfied my curiosity about one of the most important and influential composers of our time.

Here we have, for less than the price of any two of these discs as previously marketed, the pioneering COME OUT (1966), a 1987 recording of the 1971 piece DRUMMING, a 1996 recording of the 1976 masterpiece MUSIC FOR 18 MUSICIANS by the Steve Reich Ensemble, the original recordings of DIFFERENT TRAINS (1988) and the TRIPLE QUARTET (1999/2000) with the Kronos Quartet, the original recordings of DESERT MUSIC (1984) and TEHILLIM (1993) for choir and orchestra, ELECTRONIC COUNTERPOINT (1987) with Pat Metheny, PROVERB from 1998, and the entire YOU ARE (VARIATIONS) album of 2005, and more.

I was not initially that impressed with the vocal compositions, but they grow on me with repeated listening. Minimalism doesn't seem to work in the string quartet format (judging from Reich and Glass), though the TRIPLE QUARTET was better live when I heard the Kronos Quartet perform it at LSU in Baton Rouge in the spring of 2005. The concept of DIFFERENT TRAINS is powerful, the composition less so. COME OUT is a stunning work which ends, after the phase shifts separate, with a throbbing electronic rhythm track. DRUMMING is the next best thing to 18 MUSICIANS.
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful By C. Moon on October 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Reich suffers much the same problem as Riley (or even Cage and Stockhausen) where classic recordings remain unavailable and what can be found (easily) on the shelf are newer, 'tamer' recordings that fail to express the more challenging dimensions of the pieces. While much has been done to fix this problem with Riley, the best recordings of Reich remain unavailable.

This set collects the newer performances presented on Nonesuch (recordings dated from the late 80's to the present), and are not what many collectors are looking for. On the other hand, at ~$30 (the price of two CDs), this 5 disc set is nearly give-away and is difficult not to pick up based on this premise alone.

The set does contain a decent (though not terribly informative booklet), and the design of the set is functional and pleasent to look at. For those who want an idea of what Reich did and are willing to accept these rather mild recordings, this isn't a bad investment at all.

Here is what is included in the set (sort of unfortunate it isn't actually listed on the box):

Music for 18 Musicians (Recorded 1996)
Different Trains (1988)
Tehillium (1993)
Eight Lines (1996)
You Are (2005)
New York Counterpoint (1997)
Cello Counterpoint (2003)
Electric Counterpoint (1989)
Triple Quartet (1999/2000)
Come Out (1987)
Proverb (1998)
The Desert Machine (1985)
Music for mallet instruments, voices and organ (1990)
Drumming (1987)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrick B. on February 25, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Some reviewers may nitpick about the recordings chosen for this collection, but as someone just getting into the music of Steve Reich, this wasn't much of an issue. I was just grateful to have this fairly comprehensive and reasonably priced collection to turn to for an introduction to Reich's work.
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By KCB on June 18, 2014
Format: Audio CD
I really can't say much else better than a few of the other reviewers. But I'll add a few things. :-) I became aware of Steve Reich through his "relationship" with Tangerine Dream. 'Nuff said. I have my opinion on what happened there, and it's counter to the official version. Anyway, it just floors me that Steve did all this with acoustic instruments, and not electronics and keyboards the way that Tangerine Dream did it. I did find the 1st track on disc 4 to be kind of a drag. That's OK, I do like pretty much everything else! One last note: for some reason, my disc 5 has that weird European copy protection on it. The symptoms are: the disc constantly skips when I try and play it on my PC's drive. No other disc did this. There's no problem with the disc itself; if you do some searching, it's just some weird European copy protection thing. The solution? Which is ironic: rip it (it does rip fine), and then burn a CD-R to put in the digipak holder along with the real CD. I can't really figure out why this is. All the discs were made in the E.U., and there's no glaring difference between the matrix code of disc 5 vs the others. Anyway! If you have trouble playing any one of the discs, there's the solution for you! I really like this set, btw. :-)
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