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ClassicsOnline Home » REICH: Triple Quartet / Duet / Different Trains
This is a rare album featuring the two major works for string quartet by Steve Reich - Different Trains and the recent Triple Quartet. Smith Quartet's attempts at confronting the standing challenge of the composer-supervised recordings on Nonesuch is appreciated. The Different Trains version here brings significant clarity to the music, primarily in the clean, precise and somewhat 'electric' playing by the 'live' string quartet. The tape part differs from the Nonesuch version in that the slightly brought-forward sirens in the second movement make the text much more meaningful. I find the sound of Triple Quartet too separated, with 3 quartets spread out widely in the stereo panorama, which dilutes the signature 'maze' sound-spectrum of Reich's music. The 'live' quartet stands out too much in the middle, making the pre-recorded quartet sound as though it had only a 'concertante' role, thus diffusing the effect of the tightly-distributed accents in the fast, rhythmic passages. Duo, composed in 1994, is a nice addition to this album, and gets here dedicated and lyrical playing. more....
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REICH: Triple Quartet / Duet / Different Trains