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Reich: City Life, Sextet, Etc /Ceccanti, Contempoartensemble

Release Date: 10/28/2003 
Label:  Arts Music   Catalog #: 47624   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Steve Reich
Performer:  Roberto FabbricianiAlessandro CarobbiFulvio Caldini
Conductor:  Mauro CeccantiDanilo Grassi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ContempoartensembleNextime Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is an excellent album for listeners seeking to explore the work of Steve Reich beyond such monoliths as Different Trains and Drumming. The easy highlight (if not raison d'etre) here is Sextet (1982), a work for percussion and keyboards whose orchestration invokes the Modern Jazz Quartet. This performance by Nextime Ensemble is riveting, fluid, and acoustically stellar, debunking the misconception (conveyed by other recordings of this work) that "minimal" music plays itself. Conductor Danilo Grassi and his players reveal Sextet's arcing ABCBA structure without self-consciousness in moving between sections, thus creating genuine, organic tension.

City Life (1995) follows the same structure (ABCBA) as Sextet but
Read more also employs samples of city sounds, such as car horns, street dialogue, sounds of construction, etc., to create a reductive urban collage. While more sophisticated sampling emerged in the '90s via techno DJs such as Moby and DJ Shadow, Reich's art of sampling retains that fluent and natural quality that remains his unsurpassed calling card. Vermont Counterpoint (1982), a work for flutes and tape, explores instrumental "reflexes" that result from a soloist accompanying his own taped performance. This is an interesting, well-realized rendition by flutist Roberto Fabbriciani, but it's not as gripping as the two larger works. The inclusion of Clapping Music (1972) is not only unnecessary but unfortunate, as this work needs to be seen in live performance and proves unilluminating on a recording. But never mind: overall this is a fine, highly recommended release.

--Ben Finane, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

City Life by Steve Reich
Conductor:  Mauro Ceccanti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Contempoartensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994; USA 
Date of Recording: 02/2001 
Venue:  RAI Auditorium, Firenze, Italy 
Length: 25 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Sextet by Steve Reich
Conductor:  Danilo Grassi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nextime Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1985; USA 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Arrigo Boito Conservatory, Parma, Italy 
Length: 25 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Vermont Counterpoint by Steve Reich
Performer:  Roberto Fabbriciani (Flute)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1982; USA 
Date of Recording: 02/2001 
Venue:  RAI Auditorium, Firenze, Italy 
Length: 9 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is scored for flute and pre-recorded tape. 
Clapping Music by Steve Reich
Performer:  Alessandro Carobbi (Hand Claps), Fulvio Caldini (Hand Claps)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1972; United States 
Date of Recording: 04/2001 
Venue:  Arrigo Boito Conservatory, Parma, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 53 Secs. 

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