Steve Reich - album review (4 stars)

Steve Reich

Different Trains (Black Box)


Steve Reich’s Different Trains is one of the classic compositions of the late 20th century. The original Kronos Quartet recording remains the benchmark in terms of sheer energy and visceral punch, but this new recording by the Duke Quartet has commendable strength and vision, and provides a reminder that Reich’s interleaving of the music with spoken word remains one of the most multilayered and successful creations to come out of the minimalist movement.

This disc also contains a razor-sharp performance of a much earlier and more purely minimalist work by Reich, ‘Piano Phase’ for two pianos, played by Andrew Russo and Marc Mellits. The world premiere recording of Mellits’ own ‘String Quartet No 2’ offers catchy melodic phrases and lively rhythms.

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