Ensemble Signal – Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 59:17 minutes | 614 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front Cover | © harmonia mundi
The recording of 18 features Ensemble Signal along with members of Third Coast Percussion, twenty musicians in total. The recording is the result of a week-long residency of the musicians at EMPAC in mid-March, 2011 that culminated with a public performance on March 12th 2011.
„It’s been eight years since the last recording of “18” was released; since that time, I’ve been thoroughly convinced that the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble’s splendid rendition of “18” was the definitive recording of the piece. Until now. Ensemble Signal has produced a stunning and superlative performance: from start to finish the ensemble is meticulously precise, well-proportioned, and graceful. Every instrumental nuance is voiced with crystal clarity; in this recording I heard notes that were obscured, muffled, or seemingly absent in the previous five recordings.
Many first-time listeners to “18” might be too quick to complain about the seeming repetitiveness of this work; to them I would say, “give it time and repeated patient listening’. Having listened to Reich’s masterpiece hundreds of times during the past four decades (it is absolutely my favorite piece of music), I only recently realized why I find it so organically and elementally compelling. ’18’, in my view, follows a different and rarely trodden path. The work is ‘about ‘ organic rhythms and dense layers of phased harmonics; it is ‘about’ the human breath and tapestries of slowly evolving pulses that mimic heartbeats, chants, footfalls, and the thundering wheel-clicks of runaway trains.
’18’ disregards the conventional narrative imperatives that characterize much of contemporary music; it tells no story, offers no clichéd characters, develops no plot twists or unresolved conflicts, and ultimately refuses to yield an emotionally satisfying and cathartic conclusion. Rather, ’18’ is a trance-inducing tone-poem, a sonic loom weaving fluid carpets of richly repetitive warps and woofs. Ensemble Signal’s spot-on interpretation here benefits from the astute direction of Brad Lubman, who has collaborated on projects with Steve Reich for the past two decades. As a result, this version of Reich’s signature work is perfect for getting lost (and enraptured) within.“ (David Bronczyk)
Steve Reich (1936-)
02. Section I
03. Section II
04. Section III A
05. Section III B
06. Section IV
07. Section V
08. Section VI
09. Section VII
10. Section VIII
11. Section IX
12. Section X
13. Section XI
Brad Lubman, conductor