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Reich: Early Works / Hartenberger, Double Edge

Release Date: 05/28/1992 
Label:  Nonesuch   Catalog #: 79169   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Steve Reich
Performer:  Russ HartenbergerEdmund NiemannNurit Tilles
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Double Edge
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 56 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

These groundbreaking pieces from the mid-‘60s / early ‘70s, which utilize tape loops and Reich’s pioneering “phasing” technique, not only inspired the minimalist movement but influenced generations of sound-sampling pop and electronic artists. The Washington Post calls them “absolutely spellbinding.”

R E V I E W:

It's a pleasure to have these early Reich works made available by Nonesuch. […]

Equally interesting is the return of the tape pieces, in which Reich first experimented with the creation of unison canons by looping and phasing, the gradual acceleration of one voice past its identical twin. It's Gonna Rain (San Francisco, 1965) was Reich's first major work and is still one of his most
Read more intriguing. Along with the composer's technological expertise, the star of this show is the street-preacher Brother Walter who gets the spirit predicting the end of the world. Reich very ingeniously elaborates on Walter's theme by fragmenting his speech and juxtaposing the fragments contrapuntally. The first part evokes call-and-response patterns very convincingly, and the second part is a tour de force in which Walter's prophecy almost seems to be coming true on the spot. An indispensable piece. Come Out (1966) develops a manic, almost frantic feel appropriate to its theme, the alleged brutalization of six Harlem rioters and murder suspects, but it is overlong (as is the first part of It's Gonna Rain). Piano Phase displays the considerable technical and psychological gifts of Nurit Tilles and Edmund Niemann—it is beautifully played and recorded, but this example of primitive Minimalism does not interest me greatly. Neither does 1972's simple Clapping Music, which Reich composed in part in reaction to his having lugged a ton of equipment across Europe on tour.

Two notes. First, the indexing given in the booklet and back label for It's Gonna Rain is wrong: as indicated on the disc, the first and second parts are indexed separately. Second, for an interesting experiment in complicating further the composer's technological prowess in the tape pieces, try playing them in fast-forward and reverse if you have audible search on your CD.

– Edward Strickland, FANFARE [1/1988] Read less

Works on This Recording

Come Out by Steve Reich
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; USA 
Date of Recording: 1966 
Length: 12 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: English 
Clapping Music by Steve Reich
Performer:  Russ Hartenberger (Hand Claps)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1972; United States 
Date of Recording: 5/1987 
Venue:  RCA Studio A, New York, NY 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
It's Gonna Rain by Steve Reich
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1965; USA 
Date of Recording: 1965 
Length: 17 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: English 
Piano Phase by Steve Reich
Performer:  Edmund Niemann (Piano), Nurit Tilles (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Double Edge
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; USA 
Date of Recording: 5/1986 
Venue:  RCA Studio A, New York, NY 
Length: 20 Minutes 26 Secs. 

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