Program 511: Steve Reich's Music For 18 Musicians
KALW Broadcast Date: April 13, 2018 | Host: Charles Amirkhanian
This program is devoted to the beautiful 1976 composition by Steve Reich, who then was turning 40 years old: Music For 18 Musicians. As Reich is now double that age, we thought it was time to take a look back at a turning point in his career that widened his audience and set a new standard for minimalist expression.
This 56 minute work, played by the composer’s own ensemble, is based on eleven chords, heard at the beginning and the end of the piece. Reich, a percussionist, previously had dealt primarily in rhythmic structures but paid less attention to harmony. But now in this work, a new generosity of spirit is evident. The first five minutes of the piece has more harmonic movement than any other work of his to that date.