Palimpsests



Hitting my inbox this morning was an exciting surprise: the tracks for the newest Steve Reich recording, release date September 30. New music and older music newly done.

The meat is the recorded premiere of his new piece, Radio Rewrite, and strong synthesis of the work he’s been doing with harmony since City Life, his sub rosa interest in progressive rock that has been quietly clear since 2×5 and a subtle, but clear, rewrite of some of the richest harmonic structures from Radiohead’s songs. I’ve got more thoughts on the piece in my review of the NY premiere.

Filling out the recording is Johnny Greenwood’s take on Electric Counterpoint, which is light and strong—though nothing can touch Andrew McKenna Lee’s version—and Piano Counterpoint, a transcription that Vincent Corver made of Six Pianos. This new version has four of the original piano parts pre-recorded, and Vicky Chow plays the hell out of a distillation of the remaining two parts.

This is one of the most notable recordings of the year, and you can pre-order it in a variety of formats at Nonesuch.

(Alarm Will Sound performs Radio Rewrite as part of the Nonesuch Records at BAM series bam.org)

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