Notes and Editorial Reviews
Also available on standard DVD
A drummer-turned-composer, Steve Reich has produced some of the most vibrant, original and interesting music of our time, with influences as varied as Bach, Stravinsky, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Balinese and Ghanaian percussion. His technique of ‘phasing’ (short, repeating patterns moving in and out of phase with each other), used first in It’s Gonna Rain of 1965, formed the springboard for his complex and colourful style, with its intoxicating melodic lines and rhythmic patterns. In Phase to Face, we follow Steve Reich as he travels from the Autumn in Normandy festival to Rome (with the Italian musicians of Ars Ludi, the
Ready-Made Ensemble, Coro Ha-Kol and Quartetto Prometeo), to Tokyo, to New York, and to Manchester – for the world premiere of 2X5.
REPERTOIRE: With excerpts from: It’s Gonna Rain (1965), Piano Phase (1967), Pendulum (1968), Clapping Music (1972), Music for Pieces of Wood (1973), Music for 18 Musici ans (1976), Tehillim (1981), Sextet (1985), Different Trains (1988), The Cave (1993), Proverb (1995), 2 x 5 (2009)
BONUS: "Talks in Tokyo with Steve Reich" (18 min.) & "A brief History of Music by Steve Reich" (9 min.)
Region: 0 (all)
PICTURE FORMAT: 1080i Full-HD
SOUND FORMAT: PCM-STEREO
SUBTITLES: English, German, French, Japanese
RUN TIME: 52 mins (Doc) + 28 mins
STEVE REICH: PHASE TO FACE
IDÉALE AUDIENCE 3058128 (Blu-ray: 52:00)
Talks in Tokyo with Steve Reich; A Brief History of Music by Steve Reich
I reviewed the DVD release of this program in
35:1. Unusually for a Blu-ray version of a video program, the audio is essentially the same as the DVD, since the soundtrack is only available in LPCM stereo in both formats. The Blu-ray image is sharper, cleaner, and in truer color than the DVD, but that hardly seems to be a reason to discard the DVD.
For those who haven’t already purchased this video, however, the Blu-ray is the way to go if expense isn’t a consideration. I strongly recommend this film as both a comprehensive introduction to the full range of the music of Steve Reich and as a fascinating portrait of one of the most interesting composers—or indeed, artists in any medium—of our time.
FANFARE: Christopher Abbot
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