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Episode 2

Donald Macleod discusses the perils and pitfalls of writing for the orchestra with Steve Reich, and presents a rare performance of the composer's sensuous piece The Four Sections.

By the late 1970s and 80s, Steve Reich - a one-time radical - was increasingly acclaimed across the musical world - his pieces performed in concert halls, his presence in demand across the world. Yet as commissions began to flood in, the composer found himself writing for ever larger, and ever more unwieldy, orchestral ensembles - a situation that threw up all sorts of challenges.and frustrations. After all, what's an American composer living in the last quarter of the 20th century got in common with the medium of Beethoven, Brahms and Mahler?

Donald Macleod discusses the perils and pitfalls of writing for the orchestra with the composer, including a rare performance of his most extended orchestral piece, the sensuous "The Four Sections". The programme also features excerpts from Reich's first major vocal piece, "Tehillim", for which he drew on his own Jewish heritage.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Steve Reich

    Vermont Counterpoint (1982)

    Performer: Roberto Fabbricciani (flute)

    • ARTS MUSIC 476242.
  • Steve Reich

    Tehillim: Parts 3& 4 (1981)

    Performer: Barbara Borden, Tannie Wilemstijn (sopranos) Performer: Yvonne Benschop, Ananda Gould (mezzo-sopranos) Performer: Schönberg Ensemble with Percussion Group The Hague / Reinbert De Leeuw

    • ELEKTRA NONESUCH 7559794512.
  • Steve Reich

    The Four Sections (1987)

    Performer: Bob Becker, Russell Hartenberger, Garry Kvistad, James Preiss (percussion) Performer: Edmund Niemann, Nurit Tillis (piano) Performer: LSO / Michael Tilson Thomas

    • ELEKTRA NONESUCH 7559794512.

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