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Reich, Steve: Pulse (2015) 16'
For Winds, Strings, Piano and Electric Bass


2fl.2cl.pft.elec bass-strings(

Abbreviations (PDF)


This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere

Carnegie Hall, New York, NY
ICE / David Robertson

Composer's Notes

Pulse, for winds, strings, piano and electric bass, was completed in 2015 and was, in part, a reaction to my Quartet of 2013 in which I changed keys more frequently than in any previous work. In Pulse I felt the need to stay put harmonically and spin out smoother wind and string melodic lines in canon over a constant pulse in the electric bass and or piano. From time to time this constant pulse is accented differently through changing hand alternation patterns on the piano. All in all, a calmer more contemplative piece lasting about 16 minutes.

As is well known, composing is primarily a solitary activity. However, after completing Pulse, I sought out suggestions for improving the piece from Maggie Heskin, my editor at Boosey and Hawkes. She offered several ideas which helped motivate me to find my solution of hand alternation patterns mentioned above. I want to thank Maggie for her thoughtful and generous help.

Steve Reich - 2015

Commissioned by Carnegie Hall; the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Gustavo Dudamel, Music Director; the Barbican, London; KölnMusik - Kölner Philharmonie; and Philharmonie de Paris

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