Nonesuch releases Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Steve Reich’s WTC 9/11 on September 20, 2011. The album marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, which is the subject of Reich’s piece. Commissioned for and recorded by Kronos Quartet, WTC 9/11 is scored for three string quartets and pre-recorded voices. The album also includes Reich’s Mallet Quartet, performed by So Percussion, and Dance Patterns, featuring members of Steve Reich and Musicians, as well as a DVD with a live performance of Mallet Quartet by So Percussion.
The piece is scored for three string quartets; Kronos recorded all three parts for the album. WTC 9/11 also uses pre-recorded voices, the speakers’ final vowels and consonants elongated in a stop-motion sound technique that Reich says is the “means of connecting one person to another—harmonically.”
"Finally a 9/11 work that manages to communicate the complex and often contradictory range of emotions, thoughts and feelings caused by the momentous event. A truly profound work."
Gramophone Critics' Choice, 2011
Mallet Quartet (2009), co-commissioned and performed by So Percussion, is scored for two vibraphones and two five-octave marimbas.
The New York Times said of a recent Carnegie Hall performance: “So Percussion’s energetic account…pointed up one of Mr. Reich’s current modes of propulsion: a two-tiered approach in which the rhythmically repetitive backdrop that listeners hear as Minimalist (and as the music’s distinctively Reichian signature) is offset by restless, melodically adventurous top lines. There were other contrasts here: the repeating figures, for marimbas, were dark and subdued, with a warm, wooden tone; the themes, played on vibraphones, were cool, bright and lively.”
Dance Patterns (2002) is Reich’s contribution to Thierry de Mey’s film Counterphrases of Anne Terese de Keersmaeker’s Choreography, for which several composers wrote short pieces. While the film was shown, the music was performed live by the Ictus Ensemble, which commissioned all the music. Scored for vibraphones, xylophones, and pianos, Dance Patterns features members of Steve Reich and Musicians on the Nonesuch recording.