Liner Note Authors: Paul Griffiths ; Steve Reich .
Recording information: Columbia Recording Studios, New York (02/1980); Studio Des Dames, Paris (02/1980); Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg (02/1980); Columbia Recording Studios, New York (03/1980); Studio Des Dames, Paris (03/1980); Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg (03/1980); Columbia Recording Studios, New York (10/1981); Studio Des Dames, Paris (10/1981); Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg (10/1981); Columbia Recording Studios, New York (1976); Studio Des Dames, Paris (1976); Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg (1976).
Photographers: Barbara Klemm; Deborah Feingold.
Early in his career, Steve Reich released three groundbreaking albums on ECM Records that established his relationship with this forward-looking label and solidified his reputation as a major American composer. With the recording of Music for 18 Musicians in 1978, Reich received widespread praise from both listeners and critics, and its success led to the subsequent release in 1981 of Octet; Music for a Large Ensemble; Violin Phase, which expanded Reich's catalog of pattern-based instrumental works, and Tehillim in 1982, which revealed his interest in his Jewish heritage and his new emphasis on vocal music. This limited-edition package presents these essential albums on three CDs with the original album art reproduced on cardboard sleeves. This is a must-have set that will bring back fond memories for owners of the original vinyl records. Considering the drawback of having to change sides in the middle of Music for 18 Musicians, many old-timers know that having that cherished performance on CD is a dream come true. Of course, these works have entered the repertoire of many contemporary music ensembles, and several outstanding recordings have been made since these albums first appeared. But this is an important piece of history that collectors and fans of minimalism should snap up immediately. ~ Blair Sanderson