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Notes and Editorial Reviews
Terry Riley's 1964 composition In C, the Magna Carta of Minimalism, presents 53 melodic patterns that can be played or sung in sequence by any number of singers or instruments. It is entirely up to the performers how many times they will repeat a pattern before proceeding to the next. One can even drop out and listen, resuming later. The patterns can be played in unison or in canonic alignment at any dynamic level. No two performances, of course, are alike. The present version features the new music ensemble Ictus, beefed up by the Blindman saxophone quartet. Its basic pulse is brisker than Riley's funkier, more laid back 1968 premiere recording (CBS) and his 1990 25th anniversary performance (New Albion). The sonorities are shaped in
blended arcs, which add momentous sweep to the converging cross-rhythms. Some may find the results too slick compared to the rugged sense of discovery that characterizes Riley's versions.
My main reservation lies with the murky engineering, which lacks New Albion's impact and earthy presence. I also hope that In C might one day be recorded minus its optional, constant repeated "C" pulse. Listeners wanting a more compressed rendition of this work should try to find Piano Circus' keyboard-based version on Argo, which clocks in at 20 minutes in contrast to 77 minutes for New Albion and 64 minutes here. Unlike the CBS and New Albion versions, Cyprés provides convenient banding points every five minutes.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
In C by Terry Riley
Eric Sleichim (Alto Saxophone),
Luk Mishalle (Tenor Saxophone),
Véronique Delmelle (Baritone Saxophone),
Takashi Yamane (Clarinet),
George Alexander Van Dam (Violin),
Piet Van Bockstal (Oboe),
Philippe Thuriot (Accordion),
Jean Luc Plouvier (Piano),
Georges-Elie Octors (Double Bass),
Georges-Elie Octors (Percussion),
Gerrit Nulens (Percussion),
Jan-Huib Nas (Guitar),
Cesarius Gadzina (Soprano Saxophone),
François Deppe (Cello),
Frédérique Cambreling (Harp),
Gery Cambier (Double Bass),
Gery Cambier (Percussion),
Miguel Bernat (Percussion)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1964; USA
Date of Recording: 05/31/1997
Venue: Live Brigittines Chapel, Brussels, Belgium
Length: 64 Minutes 58 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )