Reich - Mallet Quartet, Sextet, Music for Pieces of Wood | Cedille Records CDR90000161

Reich - Mallet Quartet, Sextet, Music for Pieces of Wood


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Label: Cedille Records

Cat No: CDR90000161

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 1st April 2016



Third Coast Percussion
David Friend
Oliver Hagen
Matthew Duvall


Reich, Steve

Mallet Quartet
Music for Pieces of Wood
Nagoya Marimbas


Third Coast Percussion
David Friend
Oliver Hagen
Matthew Duvall


The “commandingly elegant” (New York Times) Third Coast Percussion makes its Cedille label debut with an 80th birthday salute to visionary American composer Steve Reich, a Pulitzer Prize winner and founding father of musical minimalism.

An album of sonic delights, Third Coast Percussion | Steve Reich offers four of the composer’s most celebrated works for percussion. In the magical Mallet Quartet, vibraphone melodies unfold over marimba rhythms. Sextet, almost symphonic in scope with two pianos added to the percussion battery, is full of surprises. The short, playful Nagoya Marimbas shows Japanese musical influence. Third Coast Percussion is joined by Eighth Blackbird’s Matthew Duvall for Music for Pieces of Wood, played on five wooden slats tuned to specific pitches for an astonishing variety of sounds.

Third Coast Percussion is “mysterious, funny, endlessly inventive and often exhilarating” (Boston Classical Review). Founded in 2005, the Chicago-based foursome comprises Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore. The ensemble’s critically acclaimed discography includes Augusta Read Thomas’s Resounding Earth on New Focus Recordings and David T. Little’s Haunt of Last Nightfall on the New Amsterdam label.


Third Coast Percussion represents the third generation of performers to present Reich, impressively combining creative fearlessness with reverent precision. ... [In the Sextet], a decision to emphasise the interplay of strongly contrasting dynamics amplifies its scope, aided by a magnificent recorded sound in which every sonority burns through. ... In Music for Pieces of Wood (1973) they use slats of Purpleheart wood played along the edge of heavy wooden dowels. It’s a thrilling tour de force which achieves that elusive ‘swung’ effect, a hinted rubato teetering on the edge of control. Of the many fine recordings, this fast, foot-loose, whip-smart rollercoaster ride is the most virtuosic I’ve yet heard.  Helen Wallace
BBC Music Magazine July 2016

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