52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
(currently suspended)


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Bruno Monteiro (violin)

Special Price and we are still delivering

Recordings of the Month


Feinberg Piano Sonatas

Schoenberg Violin Concerto

Early Keyboard

Nun Danket Alle Gott
Now Everyone Thanks God


Haydn Scottish Songs

Choral Music

Liszt Sonata

Renaissance Bohemia


Hahn Complete Songs

Piano Sonatas 6,7,8 Osborne

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Steve REICH (b. 1936)
Mallet Quartet (2009) [14:58]
Sextet (1986) [28:23]
Nagoya Marimbas (1996) [4:48]
Music for Pieces of Wood (1973) [14:20]
Third Coast Percussion
rec. 15-19 December 2014, University of Notre Dame's DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
CEDILLE RECORDS CDR90000161 [62:28]

Reich has been a presence for me from my earliest days (1970s) of listening to Radio 3. Clapping Music snagged my attention (try You-Tube) without turning me into anything more than interested. Then one of the tapes I was sent by either Charles Pizer or Mark Lehman in the early 1980s included Reich's Variations. That was a turning point, coming at about the same time I began subscribing to Fanfare magazine with its at times laid-back West Coast tastes. That version of Variations was played by the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Peter Eötvös. The work's slow, terraced transformations, rapid pulse and insistently beguiling material held the attention. It linked with my appetite for music with melodic allure and catchy rhythmic bait. Reich's Gamelan Music and Music for 18 Musicians consolidated the composer's position in my musical tastes. Last summer I heard a Late Night Reich Prom in which the rapturously voluptuous Desert Music was conducted by Peter Hill at the Royal Albert Hall. My first live Reich.

Now along comes this disc in Reich's eightieth birthday year with four works scattered across four decades. It's an encouraging chance to catch up. All the usual attractions are on show. The most succulent of these is Mallet Quartet proving that minimalism can offer juice as well as a mind-tingling rhythmic lucidity. There are surprises too - even disappointments although not in the execution by these six players - including two pianists in Sextet. The gloomy metallic thudding bass-emphatic realms of the central three movements of Sextet are not where I would start anyone new to Reich; for that the large-scale works Desert Music and Variations should not be missed. The outer movements (of five) of Sextet offer contrasting recompense with some ruthless piano figuration alongside the marimbas and vibraphones. Nagoya Marimbas returns us to that open oxygen-rich ringing percussion sound. Here - and in the drier five-movement Music for Pieces of Wood - we are again captivated by Third Coast Percussion's attentive ears, wrists and musculature. That essential dynamic tickle, thud and rhythmic absorption is there and the audio-engineers deserve as much praise as the four musicians of Third Coast Percussion and the two pianists in Sextet: David Friend and Oliver Hagen.

Cedille present the disc stylishly, with decent annotation, in a digipack the design of which is a meet companion to the music.

Rob Barnett



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger