New Steve Reich Album Pulse/Quartet Coming in February
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.