MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around   2022
 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Steve REICH (b. 1936)
WTC 9/11 (2010) [15:54]
Different Trains (1988) [26:59]
Quatuor Tana
rec. June 2016, Studio Acoustique.
MEGADISC MDC7877 [42:55]

Steve Reich's WTC 9/11 was written in homage to the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Centre on 11th September 2001, and uses and adapts pre-recorded voices from witnesses and from the emergency services in action on the day. The music uses and develops around the patterns of these spoken words.

Anyone alive at the time cannot help be reminded of the events of that terrible day, and be moved by the content of this piece. You can listen to it as a concert work, but it also has the duel impact of something powerfully poetic.

Any string quartet approaching these works for recording will inevitably be under the shadow of the excellent Kronos Quartet. The Nonesuch label release of their version was produced in 2011, and this new recording is by no means entering a flooded market. Those looking into comparisons will note the difference in the use of illustration on the cover of each release. Reich’s original belief was “that a piece of music with documentary material from an event would best be matched with a documentary photograph of that event”. This was too shocking and controversial at the time, and so the Nonesuch illustration was replaced by a plume of smoke. The “unambiguous cover photo” for this release should be regarded in this context.

Different Trains deals with reminiscences around World War II, and its classic recording is that by the Kronos Quartet on the Nonesuch label from 1988. Subsequent recordings including this one can only have relatively minor differences in terms of performance given the strict boundaries set by the accompanying voice recordings. Quatuor Tana does a very good job, the recording more spacious than that with the Kronos Quartet, but the latter having better integration of those little solo lines in the general texture and a closer connection with the pre-recorded sounds. The balance with those sirens in Europe-During the War could be more direct and oppressive, so while the voices are clear enough there is more quartet sound in proportion with this newer recording.

Shuttling between the Kronos Quartet and Quatuor Tana in WTC 9/11 shows a similar shift in balance, with the voices more present and the strings on a more equal footing - clearly audible, but illustrating the text and inhabiting its expressive worlds more closely by occupying the same space rather than the more elegant but less highly integrated acoustic perspective offered here. These Quatuor Tana performances are very good indeed and if you want both of these works on a single disc then this is easily recommendable. For both pieces I would, however, on a purely aesthetic level give a preference to the Kronos Quartet.

Dominy Clements


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount