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Reich: The Desert Music / Thomas, Brooklyn Philharmonic

Release Date: 10/25/1990 
Label:  Nonesuch   Catalog #: 79101   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Steve Reich
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brooklyn Philharmonic ChorusBrooklyn Philharmonic OrchestraSteve Reich and Musicians
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Reich’s 1985 Nonesuch debut, incorporating poem fragments from William Carlos Williams, was also his first work for large orchestra and chorus; Michael Tilson Thomas conducts. The New York Times praised its “ingenious craft, transfixing rhythmic energy, and gorgeous sound.”

R E V I E W S:

This hour-long work, commissioned by West German Radio and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, marks a transitional period for Reich. Based in the rhythmic pulse of Music for 18 Musicians, he adds a text by William Carlos Williams (sung by a full chorus), uses the more traditional sounds of a full orchestra (strings and brass are suddenly prominent), and snatches of melody dot the musical canvas here and there. The use of vocals
Read more here looks forward to such projects as Different Trains and The Cave. If Reich is trying to encapsulate the grandeur of the American west without falling back on typical "Western" tropes, he does so successfully.

-- Ted Mills, AllMusic.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Desert Music by Steve Reich
Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brooklyn Philharmonic Chorus,  Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra,  Steve Reich and Musicians
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; USA 

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