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Steve Reich 1965-1995 [Box set]

Pat Metheny Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 83 Songs, 2005 $75.99  
Audio CD, Box set, 1997 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 3, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 10
  • 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: B000005J4P
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,029 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

In the afterglow of his 60th birthday in 1997, Nonesuch Records delivered Steve Reich and his listeners an immense gift, this 10-CD retrospective of his work for the label, extending from his earliest tape-manipulation pieces to his most recent compositions utilizing samplers and the video artistry of Beryl Korot. Aside from the ear's liquid sense-making when it hears the dense and limber marimbas of Reich's Six Marimbas or his taut, dizzying Piano Phase, there is a physical response almost inevitable in Reich's music. It stuns and holds you. And he knows it. It's Gonna Rain struck an early chord of inventiveness, featuring an African American Pentecostal preacher's sermon and eventually spinning the title phrase into a jangling repetition of single words. Percussion works abound here: Clapping and Drumming stun with their deceptive similarity and warm clarity. Perennial favorite Piano Phase features pianists Nurit Tilles and Eduard Neumann synched up on two pianos and careening at full tilt in unison before their four hands fall out of time and phrase with each other, only to realign in a powerful swooping demonstration of energy and focus. The latter CDs hold abundant delights, many revealing Reich's late-discovered spiritualism and Judaica: Different Trains' examination of the Holocaust; Tehillim's shimmering Hebrew texts sung with fascinating choral power; Proverb's invocation of Perotin. Closing the set are recent pieces: Nagoya Marimbas, and the sampler-rich City Life and The Cave. --Andrew Bartlett

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential February 23, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The term "essential" gets thrown about too much. And heck, the claim that certain words get thrown about too much gets thrown about too much. But here is a collection that really *is* essential to understanding the nature of a whole shift not just in classical music, but in popular music and indeed in popular culture. So many of Reich's ideas and concepts have become so deeply embedded in current classical music, film scoring (any number of examples, but think about Tangerine Dream's score for "Risky Business" and Hans Zimmer's score for "Thin Red Line," for starters), electronic music and even the visual arts.
This box set gives the listener all of Reich's major works. I can't even attempt to describe them individually, but every one of these 10 CDs is compelling. For the totally uninitiated, take out "Music for 18 Musicians" (presented here in a crystalline new recording) to get an idea of what the core of this guy is all about. From there, you might want to listen to "Different Trains," "Electric Counterpoint" and "Six Marimbas" to get an idea of the pointillistic pulse minimalism that Reich contributed to the world. The earlier material is the more challenging, exploring the subtleties of rythym, phase relationships between sounds and shifting timings. Among these, the new recording of "Four Organs" is just outstanding.
Reich's works, along with the early works of Terry Riley and Philip Glass, form the foundation of an enormous edifice that has grown of music that attempts to return to its essential and hypnotic roots. With this box set, one of those pylons becomes clear.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic, but not the definitive... May 19, 2004
By Jonny B
Format:Audio CD
While a multi CD collection spanning 30 years does sound very promsing, Nonesuch cannot offer all of the best recordings of some of Reich's masterpieces (Music for 18 Musicians or Drumming), and some have been missed out completely (Music for a Large Ensemble), presumably because the piece was not recorded under the Nonesuch label. While the collection is formidable, a listener wanting to hear the best recordings of all the pieces might do better seeking out the older (or longer!) recordings of the pieces.
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10 of 61 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Performances (and music) lack passion and beauty December 13, 2007
By mianfei
Format:Audio CD
Steve Reich, unlike most classical composers, is well-known in the popular music world owing to his influence on many musicians of the "post rock" period.

After having heard and been impressed by his Six Pianos and Four Organs, I was eager to hear a full collection of his material since he began composing in the 1960s. However, there is really little of note in the ten discs of "Steve Reich 1965-1995".

Even the two pieces whose first two performances I initially liked are not performed as well here - and with hindsight they are nothing compared to, say, Messiaen's organ works in terms of emotion and depth. The rest of the work here is no better, for instance the acclamied "Music for 18 Musicians" certainly lacks the passion of the post-rock it is often claimed to have been a major influence on. It also is very boring because the many instruments are unable to show the subtle variations of texture that are often possible with a single instrument, especially one liek an organ. Some of Reich's works, even if prelude to the sampling era, are just annoying noise created by tape loops that seem out of place in a work devoted to classical music.

His later work, though easier to listen to, approaches blandness and the orchestras seem to be playing something that has been played before.

It's really good to be able to notice the mediocre music in the classical, as well as the popular field, and this is amongst them. you will not gain much by hearing this lengthy set. There is much better music amongst modern classical composers.
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0 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Set box torn out November 18, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The package was not sturdy enough , so the set box is torn out ( CD are OK )
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