6 Songs, 41 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

notsojolly ,

Spectacular Aural Imagery!!

I was very fortunate to hear the Kronos Quartet perform this piece ("Different Trains") at the University of Maine the year this CD was released. Not being familiar with either Reich, the piece, or the KQ at the time, I was completely blown out of the water by the uniqueness of the idea, the emotion of the narrative, and the jarring comparison between Reich's life and the lives of so many others. Several jazz perfomers have tried similar "voice-matching" techiniques--Victor Wooten and Jason Moran, most recently--but hearing a child's message on an answering machine replayed on the bass guitar does not match the emotional impact of the narrative Reich provides. It is such an abstract notion with such concrete results. Kronos is impeccable in their performance, as usual, and they provide the flair and brass needed to pull off such a feat. I played this CD (along with Gorecki's Symphony #3) every year in my Holocaust class for juniors and seniors in high school. They are as blown away by the whole concept as I originally was. It is a technically impressive and emotionally draining exerience.
"Electric Counterpoint" is, quite sadly, the overlooked portion of this CD for me. I am a huge Pat Metheny fan, but I look to his other CDs for his best work. I know it is my loss. . . .
Bottom Line: Whether or not you like Steve Reich and/or the Kronos Quartet, you need to give this CD a listen--it is a challenge and a delight. I'm not sure how one could fully appreciate the piece without the lyrics and explanation from Reich, though. Might be worth just buying the CD somewhere. . . .

GGarland127 ,

Wonder: induced by music

Reich's Different Trains, featuring the Kronos Quartet and Pat Metheny, put me willingly under a spell as late-night, public radio played a track: America Before the War. Born long after WWII was won, I was treated to a profound feeling of nostalia for times, places and sounds that I never experienced myself; so powerful is Reich's mastery of his art. The music itself is precisely performed to conduct the listener from the repetitive sounds of cross country travel by rail into the realm of the extraordinary as outbursts of whistles and human voices find their way to be sampled, repeated and fully integrated into one wonderous crecendo. Listen to hear the pattenrs and take a sonic journey without leaving your home.

TheDirtRat ,

Gorgeous Combination

Although I could not connect on the first run through, I refreshed myself with Kronos' Howl and Early Music, then came back for a second go. This work, as a whole, is absolutely gripping. I won't take it all the way to spellbinding, but it's ever so close to that. I was totally consumed and left blinking my way back to reality. Some people have commented to me in the opposite view, but I think that it is Pat Methany that lays out the soundscape foundation from which Kronos springs out from. Kronos can easily overpower less experienced musicians, but in this teamwork they have found an excellent balance to promote each other's strengths. I rate this a classic. A must have. Thanks for the music :)

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