Lincoln Center Festival's Steve Reich series culminates in two dazzling works at the pinnacle of the composer's work. Conductor Brad Lubman leads Ensemble Signal, "one of the most vital groups of its kind" (The New York Times), to perform his Double Sextet and Music for 18 Musicians.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet was composed in 2007. In Reich's own words: "Doubling the instrumentation was done so that, as in so many of my earlier works, two identical instruments could interlock to produce one overall pattern. For example, in this piece you will hear the pianos and vibes interlocking in a highly rhythmic way to drive the rest of the ensemble."
The concert ends with Music for 18 Musicians, on the 40th anniversary of its premiere. Although its steady pulse and rhythm relate to many of Reich's earlier works, its instrumentation, structure and harmony are new. Ensemble Signal's 2015 recording of the work was praised by BBC Music Magazine as a "fast, sharply focused achievement that flies past barely touching the ground. [...] one cannot help but be staggered by the skill of musicians… This is Reich for the 21st century."
Photo courtesy of EMPAC Rensselaer
With Daniel Barenboïm and West-Eastern Divan Orchestra