Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians
One of Steve Reich’s most famous and enduring works, Music for 18 Musicians first caught the attention of percussionist Colin Currie in the 1980s. Over the years that followed, Currie dutifully built his library of Reich scores and recordings, but it was this work in particular that truly captured his imagination, holding him in its epic grasp ever since.
Of Reich’s comprehensive catalogue, it is this warm and resonant composition that signifies a major breakthrough in the sphere of minimalist music. “The perfect musical beehive” is how Currie describes performing the piece—and it’s easy to see why, with each musician purposefully teasing the material along, playing their own brilliantly contained part, yet contributing to something greater that hums with life.
Following the success of his previous Steve Reich albums, Steve Reich: Drumming (2018) and Colin Currie & Steve Reich Live at Fondation Louis Vuitton (2019), Currie is joined on this album by his closest musical colleagues and companions, the Colin Currie Group and Synergy Vocals, who recorded the work at London’s Abbey Road Studios in November 2022.
This album is an SACD Hybrid disc, which is compatible with, and playable by, all CD players. The Super Audio layer of the disc includes 2.0 stereo and 5.1 multi-channel mixes that can be accessed by SACD-capable players.
Catalogue code: CCR0006
Producer: Ian Dearden
Co-production: Colin Currie
Additional production: Micaela Haslam
Engineer: Daniel Halford for Sound Intermedia
SACD Mastering: Jonathan Stokes for Classic Sound Ltd
Recorded: 16 November 2022 at Abbey Road Studios, London, at 24bit 96kHz PCM
"It would be hard to imagine a finer account of what is unquestionably a mesmorising and compelling piece than that given here by [the Colin Currie Group]. The many shifting layers of harmonia and rhythmic complexity are beautifully and faultlessly conveyed to the listener with focussed energy in sound of the utmost clarity."
– HR Audio
"The extraordinary control that Steve Reich’s fascinating work requires, is matched by exquisite musicality from Colin Currie and colleagues – the result is a sublime and reflective recording. … impeccable musicianship and collective musical understanding is evident throughout."
– Editor's Choice, Gramophone
"Combining full note-values with exemplary agility, the members of [the] Colin Currie Group and Synergy Vocals deliver an idiomatic performance, one of extraordinary edge and ravishing beauty. From deep-etched full-ensemble pulsations to refined mallet interlockings, the ensemble's take on the score is simply oustanding."
– Adventures in Music