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November 08, 2003


James Thomson

I'm listening to Six Marimabas right now. It has been almost 20 years since I have heard Six Pianos on Deutche Gram. recording. The effect is so different, that when I got this recording of Six Marimbas in the 10 CD Reich collection, I thought that this was a different composition. Now -oh well I'm slow- I'm realizing through WEB search that these two pieces are the same composition...right? I see also that Deutche Gram has re-released the Six Pianos with "Variations" (I wish Mr. Reich would leave his titles alone - I assume this is his "Variations for Orchestra" recorded by Edo/San Francisco also quite a few years ago). Anyway, I need to buy and revisit the Six Piano on Deutche Gram., I remember it as faster and harder to listen to but in the end more intriguing and satisfying than the smooth Marimbas version I have. I first turned on to Reich by knowing that I had to buy him unknown on the spot when I saw the score across the cover on the Octet vinyl in the late 70's. After that and the also love affair with Music for 18 Musicians, every thing I bought I said - Steve, you are not going to fool me this time, it's the same old same old, but the infection began and I've been a enjoyer of his music all these years. I once told myself at tender age of early 20's that Music for 18 Musicians was as emotionally dynamic as a Mahler Symphony and damned if I didn't read the same comparison by a critic in a newspaper article a year or two later. Anyway, that's my Reich babble at the moment.

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