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The Cave

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 24, 1995
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Product Details

  • Composer: Steve Reich
  • Audio CD (October 24, 1995)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000005J2C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,466 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Steve Reich Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Keith James Thomson on May 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
It's interesting that the Amazon customer review responses to this work, particularly from diehard Reich fans, are so varied. I've so enjoyed Reich since I happened upon his music by attraction to the album cover of Octet, in late 70's. I loved his first burst of success, Octet, Music for 18 Musicians, and others. The first piece to which I was truly resistant was Desert Music which incorporated choral singing into the design of his work. Years later I caught up with Reich's expanding palette and came to enjoy Desert Music. Now, even many more years later, while listening to "The Cave" from the 10 CD, Reich retrospective, I realize that this piece, "The Cave", is very moving to me. I love the instrumental intonation or shadowing of the spoken vocal lines. Appreciating this piece, one may be likely to have a mind that is invited by the theological. At it's core this is a religious - Judaic - piece of music; and it's starting point is the spoken word, the powerful means by which the Jewish people expressed and passed on their faith. The spoken word creates the tonal environment, much as nature and city sounds may be used as a tonal base for writing environmental music. I find this work very moving and very beautiful. It certainly does not depend upon experiencing the multi-media presentation of the live performance, though I surely would enjoy seeing it.
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By A Customer on April 20, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Steve Reich's The Cave is not only music, but more, it is sound. I am learning as a fan of contemporary classical music, that sound is as important as "music". We are released from 12 tone reality.
As a child, I loved the fading in and out of long distance a m stations. It was the groundwork for the textural riches of Steve Reich's The Cave as well as for much more of the contempary classics I find important. I love the reinvention of sound that happens here. I love also the intelligent musing to endless questions....Who is Abraham..Who is Sarah...Who is Hagar?
From answers like " I have no idea who Abraham is or what he represents." to "Abraham Lincoln High School............that's about as far as I trace Abraham." to Carl Sagan's "I think of Abraham like this: It's 21 hundred B.C. or thereabouts. He's living in the 3rd dynasty of UR. It's a polytheistic society. The chief god is "Nana," who's the moon god. Abraham grows up, he a city kid. His father makes idols, he crafts idols.", the staccato of the music, the voices, and the answers themselves...lead us to our question, " Who is Abraham?" And we find, philosophically, we all have many ways to travel the inevitable route: question. Reich's music is as mysterious as the questions, the history of the questions. He brings together...among others, Christian, Jew, and Muslim to consider the highway to his own being, his own thought.
The music is sharp and enticing, as challenging to the spirit as it is refreshing, and openly cleansing.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm disappointed to report that the first major Steve Reich work to appear in quite some time is a total drag. I hope his music doesn't continue down this dead-end path. The rhythmic and harmonic freshness and appeal heard in such brilliant and varied pieces as Different Trains, Music for 18 Musicians, Octet, and The Desert Music is distilled here into short episodes of watered-down Reich-isms. The spoken samples that were so seamlessly interwoven into Different Trains just sort of sit there in The Cave. And the socio-spiritual elements are totally overbearing, dragging the music down further. Steve Reich has always been one of my favorite composers...I hope he finds a way to develop his unique style more successfully in future projects. It's somewhat disturbing that the most interesting Steve Reich release in the past 10 years was all remixes by other artists. I think he should re-focus on the music and avoid musical-theatre concepts like "The Cave".
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Format: Audio CD
In fact this release is incomplete: it contains the music but not the images that definitely belong to the production. It deserves a DVD release like Three Tales. It would have been 5 stars rating as DVD I guess!
I was lucky to witness a live performance, so I can recall the images. However, there is much to be enjoyed by everyone, but I can imagine it needs time and effort if you're not yet familiar with the whole idea behind The Cave. My advise is:
read the booklet, hear the voices, listen to the music, feel the emotions. enjoy!
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