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You Are


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Audio CD, September 27, 2005
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. You Are Wherever Your Thoughts Are13:14Album Only
listen  2. Shiviti Hashem L'Negdi (I Place The Eternal Before Me) 4:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Explanations Come To An End Somewhere 5:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Ehmor M'aht, V'ahsay Harbay (Say Little And Do Much) 4:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Cello Counterpoint11:29Album Only

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 27, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000A3OX3M
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,262 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Steve Reich recalls the approach and sound of some of his most celebrated early work-groundbreaking repertoire like The Desert Music, Tehillim,, and Music For 18 Musicians-while creating vital, spiritually stirring new music for right now. The four-movement title piece, written for voices and live instruments including woodwinds, pianos, marimbas, vibraphones and strings and performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, premiered at the Walt Disney Concert Hall to extraordinary reviews.

Amazon.com

This new CD of Steve Reich's music pairs two unusually scored pieces. "You Are (Variations)" is set for three sopranos, an alto and two tenors, with flutes, oboe, English horn, two marimbas, clarinets, four pianos, vibraphone and strings. The texts, in Hebrew and English, are philosophical meditations: "You are whoever your thoughts are," "Say little and do much," etc. The resulting work is fascinating, the textures unique and fresh, the experience haunting and captivating, with the voices used as another significant instrumental part. Equally fine is the second work, "Cello Counterpoint," scored for eight cellos (seven pre-recorded and one played "live" by soloist Maya Baiser), which is noteworthy for its complex rhythms, use of counterpoint, and handsome lyrical solo cello line floating above it all. Reich fans will love this; the uninitiated will want to give it a try. --Robert Levine

Customer Reviews

Perhaps not as brutally moving as "Trains" but then again, neither is the subject.
Perry Townsend
I like the music well enough, but I have a hard time sitting through it because it sounds thin and a bit harsh.
Art M.
It's easy to presume composer like Reich - because his music is complex - to be inaccessible.
I. E. Keller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By D. Robert Bundy on February 2, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I normally don't submit reviews in this forum, and I generally think that chatter among critics is beside the point, and of little use to anyone looking to reader comments for insights into the relative merits of a piece of music. What is that great quote from Elvis Costello? "Talking about music is like dancing about architecture." BUT...

I've listened to this recording several times, and I am so grateful for this music. I've been following Reich for a couple of decades now, and like anyone, I have my favorites, but it is sometimes frustrating to read people sniffing at a new work by deciding that it is not the percieved equal of some earlier work by that composer. I guess because I think of a great composer's latest work as a chapter in a book, and it makes little sense to me to stop the conversation between composer and listener in order to pit one chapter against another. Some of these posted criticisms have been thoughtful and heartfelt, but I would want them to consider that the listener changes over time as well, and sometimes listener and composer evolve and grow in different directions, and it is not necessarily the composer's "fault" if their aesthetics diverge down the line.

I love this record. I think Reich is distilling some of what has made him so interesting to me over the years. There are only a handful of modern composers that create music that is both lovely AND challenging, and none has perfected this balance better than Reich. Others may differ, but for me, the conversation is just getting more interesting as the years go by.

Robert Bundy
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Jonny B on October 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I went to see the UK premiere of this piece, and honestly, it almost sounds better recorded on this CD.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By meteordude on October 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Well I am one of the minimalist nuts who runs to the store as soon as i hear about a new release by Steve Reich. He takes his time with new compositions, and luckily we are usually rewarded very generously by each of his efforts. The works on this album are no exception, and I would probably rank them near the top in terms of quality, originality and overall listenability.

These two pieces are somewhat more complex than many of his previous works. There is some similarity with the recent Triple Quartet, especially in Cello Counterpoint. The trademark Reich style is clearly there, but with an extra layer of rythmic and harmonic complexity. The end result (for me) is two outstanding pieces that have a freshness which I didn't expect. It is exciting to see that Steve's writing is continuing to evolve (and in a good way). more more more, please!!
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Jon M. Willis on October 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I have loved Steve Reich's music since Six Pianos and Trains, and You Are (Variations) are superb examples of his writing, this time for choir and ensemble. Fans of 20th century minimalism should buy this immediately, although it is georgeously complex and textured for a minimalist piece. The Los Angeles Master Chorale are in fine voice throughout. The lovely choral pieces are paired with an equally exciting Cello Counterpoint,with the most impressive tone and technique from Maya Beiser pushing the normally lyrical instrument into urgent counterpoint.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Steve Reich is a consistent contemporary composer. He has been artist in residence with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for years now and his forays into instrumental works, chamber works, and works for the human voice. He has that uncanny ability to treat every participant in lifting his score of the page as equals, whether that participant be a percussionist, and instrumentalist, a soloist, or the human voice. His gift is one of sonics and pulsating rhythmic patterns that, while many may classify as minimalist, unfold like the colored stone patterns in a revolving kaleidoscope.

Grant Gershon and the Los Angeles Master Chorale appear to be perfectly wedded to Reich's gifts. The 'You Are (Variations)' are four movements in alternating English and Hebrew and call more for an 'instrumental' approach to the voice than for the usual opulent choral beauty that is the hallmark of this fine ensemble. And it works! 'You are wherever your thoughts are' opens the work in English followed by 'Shiviti hashem l'negdi (I place the eternal before)', 'Explanations come to an end somewhere', and the final 'Ehmor m'aht, v'ahsay harbay (Say little and do much)'. In these comprehensibly sung texts is great beauty of invention and sound, a perfect melding of the human voice as a musical instrument with just the added edge of being able to utter words that magnify the mood.

Equally as beautiful is 'Cello Counterpoint' (as performed by Maya Beiser and prerecorded eight other celli), a lyrical with a fascinatingly dense rhythmic drive that is for this listener one of the most successive experimental works of his Counterpoint series.

While fellow minimalist composers (John Adams for one) are stretching beyond the purity of this movement, Steve Reich proves that there is much more to be said in this realm. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, October 05
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By I. E. Keller on January 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Many years ago I saw a performance of Steve Reich's "Drumming". I remember it exciting me. But it's not the kind of music you walk out humming, certainly not if you're a near layperson like I. So I didn't think much more about Steve Reich until hearing a report on NPR about the Steve Reich Festival in New York celebrating his 75th birthday. I got motivated and ordered this CD.

And what a thrill. It's easy to presume composer like Reich - because his music is complex - to be inaccessible. But I put the CD on and was swept away by the pure joyous force of it. The driving, indescribable rhythms for which Reich is famous (just how do these musicians manage to play them?) are overlain with broad, thrilling chording performed by chorus, marimba and a small arsenal of other instruments. The "You Are" variations - settings of short texts from Psalms, Pirkei Avot, Rebbe Nachman of Bratzlav and Ludwig Wittgenstein that work together remarkably well - pulse with exultation. Far from inaccessible, this music immediately grabbed me and left me feeling uplifted.
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