Reich's You Are from LA to Frankfurt and London
Steve Reich's latest work, You Are (Variations), was unveiled to great acclaim at Disney Hall in Los Angeles in October under the baton of Grant Gershon. Scored for six-voice chorus, four pianos, four mallet instruments, winds and small string section, the 27-minute four-movement work is Reich's most extended since Three Tales. You Are was commissioned by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Ensemble Modern and Lincoln Center.
Further performances take place in the New Year within all-Reich concerts at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt (12 January) and the Barbican in London (18 January) with Ensemble Modern and Synergy Vocals conducted by Stefan Asbury.
"You Are is an exceptional score... what is so impressive is the way Reich has written through the pithy texts to achieve music that feels as if we are watching (hearing) music bloom to fill not just the room but the consciousness. Part of this is Reich's brilliant and original variation technique... The music gets richer and richer. At the same time the text...has the quality of an injection of wisdom. Gradually it infects awareness, words, tones, rhythms and meanings. Then there is the sheer visceral sensation of compelling music, insistent in its rhythms, building complexities... With You Are the Master Chorale got a masterpiece."
Los Angeles Times
"You Are (Variations), the Master Chorale's gleaming new acquisition, incorporates 'aphoristic truisms' from ancient Hebrew and more recent Wittgentstein... Like a jewel examined in changing light, the text rises and falls through the instrumental texture... The marvel of the work is the newness of its expression, the fresh sounds and messages Reich has found within materials that are already known aspects of his musical language... He continues to find new uses for his 'classic' minimalist techiques, as You Are (Variations) handsomely suggests."
Los Angeles Weekly
Steve Reich's forthcoming projects include a new work for the London Sinfonietta and dancer Akram Khan to be toured internationally.
Reich's 70th birthday is celebrated in 2006 — if you are planning Reich events or are seeking repertoire advice please contact us at:
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Photo: © Alice Arnold
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