Different Trains / Electric Counterpoint

Submitted by nonesuch on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 19:14
Release Date
DescriptionExcerpt

On the Grammy-winning Different Trains, performed by Kronos Quartet, Reich evokes his American childhood during World War II while also addressing the Holocaust. The New York Times declared it “a work of such originality that ‘breakthrough’ seems the only possible description.” Pat Metheny performs Electric Counterpoint.

Description

1989 Grammy Award Winner

Nonesuch Records' 1989 recording of Steve Reich's Different Trains, the Grammy Award winner for Best Contemporary Composition that year, and Electric Counterpoint has returned on vinyl for the first time in more than twenty-five years. The album features the first recordings of the two pieces, performed by Kronos Quartet and Pat Metheny, respectively. The vinyl edition—mastered by Robert C. Ludwig at Gateway Mastering in Portland, Maine, with lacquers cut by Bernie Grundman, and pressed on 140-gram vinyl at Record Industry in the Netherlands—was released on November 2, 2018, the 30th anniversary of Kronos Quartet's world premiere performance of Different Trains at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. You can watch a new mini-documentary about Different Trains by Robert Edridge-Waks below.

On Different Trains, which combines string quartet with taped speech, Reich evokes his American childhood during World War II while also addressing the Holocaust. The New York Times declared it "a work of such originality that 'breakthrough' seems the only possible description."

Earlier this year, Pitchfork placed Different Trains / Electric Counterpoint at No. 93 on its list of the 200 Best Albums of the 1980s. It's a "late-career masterpiece" for the composer, wrote Pitchfork's Jazz Monroe of Different Trains. "The piece found a new tenor for Reich—clear-eyed, anguished, searching—that suited him. He wasn’t a minimalist upstart anymore; he was a moral conscience, albeit as earthbound and lost as the rest of us."

Electric Counterpoint was written for Pat Metheny, who gave the world premiere performance of the piece at Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival in November 1987. The guitarist performs against multiple pre-recorded tape of himself—and "splendidly," said the New York Times. The piece is "filled with jazz and funk-inflected rhythms, reveling in the spirit of American vernacular culture ... [and] finds Mr. Reich capitalizing on his strengths. Here, at the point furthest removed from convention, is where his creative juices flow most freely."

ProductionCredits

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced by Judith Sherman
Tracks 1-3 recorded August 31-September 9, 1988 at Russian Hill Recording, San Francisco
Engineer: Les Brockman
Assistant engineer: Michael Ahearn
Mixing engineer: Rob Eaton
Assistant mixing engineer: Ben Fowler
Tracks 4-6 recorded September 26-October 1, 1987, at Power Station, New York City
Engineer: Rob Eaton
Assistant engineer: Gary Solomon
Production assistant: David Oakes
Production coordinator: Jennifer Keats
Mastering: Robert C. Ludwig

Art direction and design: Frank Olinsky
Cover photography: Karl Steinbrenner

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

 

Nonesuch Selection Number

79176

Number of Discs in Set
1disc
ns_album_artistid
92
ns_album_id
268
ns_album_releasedate
ns_genre_1
0
ns_genre_2
0
Album Status
Artist Name
Steve Reich
Kronos Quartet
Pat Metheny
MusicianDetails

MUSICIANS
Kronos Quartet (1-3):
David Harrington, violin
John Sherba, violin
Hank Dutt, viola
Joan Jeanrenaud, cello

Pat Metheny, electric guitar (4-6)
 

Cover Art
UPC/Price
Label
CD+MP3
UPC
075597951424
Label
MP3
Price
9.00
UPC
603497187560
Label
LP+MP3
Price
17.00
UPC
075597927078
  • 79176

News & Reviews

  • The first recording of Steve Reich’s Runner and Music for Ensemble and Orchestra, performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conducted by Susanna Mälkki, released on CD and digitally on Nonesuch Records in September, is now available on vinyl. The New York Times calls Runner "a calmly luminous orchestral piece with the pulsating, propulsive rhythms that animate much of Mr. Reich’s music." The San Francisco Chronicle says that Music for Ensemble and Orchestra "is a beautiful and dramatically charged masterpiece, but its impact goes even further than that."

  • Steve Reich’s 1988 piece Different Trains is the subject of this week's episode of BBC Radio 3's The Listening Service. Host Tom Service shares music from Kronos Quartet's 1988 Nonesuch recording of the piece, which won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Composition, and talks with author/journalist Jonathan Freedland about creating such art that addresses the Holocaust. You can hear the episode here.

  • About This Album

    1989 Grammy Award Winner

    Nonesuch Records' 1989 recording of Steve Reich's Different Trains, the Grammy Award winner for Best Contemporary Composition that year, and Electric Counterpoint has returned on vinyl for the first time in more than twenty-five years. The album features the first recordings of the two pieces, performed by Kronos Quartet and Pat Metheny, respectively. The vinyl edition—mastered by Robert C. Ludwig at Gateway Mastering in Portland, Maine, with lacquers cut by Bernie Grundman, and pressed on 140-gram vinyl at Record Industry in the Netherlands—was released on November 2, 2018, the 30th anniversary of Kronos Quartet's world premiere performance of Different Trains at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. You can watch a new mini-documentary about Different Trains by Robert Edridge-Waks below.

    On Different Trains, which combines string quartet with taped speech, Reich evokes his American childhood during World War II while also addressing the Holocaust. The New York Times declared it "a work of such originality that 'breakthrough' seems the only possible description."

    Earlier this year, Pitchfork placed Different Trains / Electric Counterpoint at No. 93 on its list of the 200 Best Albums of the 1980s. It's a "late-career masterpiece" for the composer, wrote Pitchfork's Jazz Monroe of Different Trains. "The piece found a new tenor for Reich—clear-eyed, anguished, searching—that suited him. He wasn’t a minimalist upstart anymore; he was a moral conscience, albeit as earthbound and lost as the rest of us."

    Electric Counterpoint was written for Pat Metheny, who gave the world premiere performance of the piece at Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival in November 1987. The guitarist performs against multiple pre-recorded tape of himself—and "splendidly," said the New York Times. The piece is "filled with jazz and funk-inflected rhythms, reveling in the spirit of American vernacular culture ... [and] finds Mr. Reich capitalizing on his strengths. Here, at the point furthest removed from convention, is where his creative juices flow most freely."

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Kronos Quartet (1-3):
    David Harrington, violin
    John Sherba, violin
    Hank Dutt, viola
    Joan Jeanrenaud, cello

    Pat Metheny, electric guitar (4-6)
     

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Produced by Judith Sherman
    Tracks 1-3 recorded August 31-September 9, 1988 at Russian Hill Recording, San Francisco
    Engineer: Les Brockman
    Assistant engineer: Michael Ahearn
    Mixing engineer: Rob Eaton
    Assistant mixing engineer: Ben Fowler
    Tracks 4-6 recorded September 26-October 1, 1987, at Power Station, New York City
    Engineer: Rob Eaton
    Assistant engineer: Gary Solomon
    Production assistant: David Oakes
    Production coordinator: Jennifer Keats
    Mastering: Robert C. Ludwig

    Art direction and design: Frank Olinsky
    Cover photography: Karl Steinbrenner

    Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

     

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