Skip to content
New Music

New Steve Reich Album Pulse/Quartet Coming in February

LONDON - MARCH 10: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales with Steve Reich after awarding him Doctor of Music as he attends the Royal College of Music's music awards on March 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Nonesuch has announced a new album of music by Steve Reich to be released in February 2018. Pulse/Quartet will include recordings of two relatively new pieces by the iconic minimalist composer: Quartet, premiered in 2013 by the Colin Currie Group (an ensemble that specializes in Reich’s music), and Pulse, premiered in 2015 by the International Contemporary Ensemble. Each recording on Pulse/Quartet was made by the group that gave the piece its respective premiere.

In a statement, Reich described the pieces as having a kind of inverse relationship to one another. Quartet, written for two pianos and two percussionists, “[changes] keys more frequently than in any previous work” and “introduces harmonies not usually found in my music”; Pulse, for a larger ensemble including winds, strings, and electric bass, was borne out of a desire to “stay put harmonically.” The label also released audio of Quartet’s “Fast” third movement, which–true to Reich’s description–sets his classic propulsive rhythms to chords that are a little denser and jazzier than usual. Hear it below.