Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews


REICH, S.: Mallet Quartet / Sextet / Nagoya Marimbas / Music for Pieces of Wood (Third Coast Percussion)

Cedille CDR90000-161

   I Care If You Listen, September 2016
   Fanfare, July 2016
   Gramophone, June 2016
   Stereophile, May 2016
   Fanfare, May 2016
   The Washington Post, April 2016
   MusicWeb International, March 2016
   San Francisco Chronicle, March 2016
   Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, March 2016, March 2016
   Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist, March 2016
   The WSCL Blog, February 2016, February 2016
   The Buffalo News, February 2016
   Second Inversion, February 2016, February 2016
   WQXR (New York), February 2016, February 2016
   WFMT (Chicago), January 2016

English        Spanish
See latest reviews of other albums...

Christian Kriegeskotte
I Care If You Listen, September 2016

It is certainly safe to say that the form and aesthetic pioneered by composers such as Reich, Glass and Riley has become a large swath in the foundation of the current generation’s standard repertoire. A tenaciously American archetype, the consonant pulsations and rhythmic mantras of this pioneering group have carried over into the voices of subsequent generations of composers and landed before the fingers, mallets and lips of energetic young performers with great regularity.

Third Coast Percussion manifests this special energy with an expertise and insight not limited to simple technicalities. It seems to have become a kind of default as of late to praise every new recording on the grounds of a good performance and energetic repertoire that seems easy to listen to. But this is more than just an entrancing, glittery object. For music in which control, precision and technique establish the most basic departure point, which hovers just above a surface concealing the potential depth and profundity encoded within, remarking on how well they played is not enough—nonetheless, Third Coast Percussion knocks the performance out of the park. © 2016 I Care If You Listen Read complete review

Ronald E. Grames
Fanfare, July 2016

…the sheer beauty of the sound is a major part of the pleasure these recordings provide. In the earliest of the works, Third Coast Percussion uses pieces of highly resonant purpleheart wood and adjusts dynamics to highlight the shifting lines and meters. …this ensemble’s Sextet is especially impressive, emphasizing the dance rhythms that were part of its original conception and reveling in a richness of sound in which the duo pianos are distinctively plangent… © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Pwyll ap SiƓn
Gramophone, June 2016

This form of contemporary chamber music—unique in many ways to Reich—foregrounds some of its most important stylistic elements: rhythmic and melodic counterpoint; the combination and layering of interlocking patterns; and, most importantly, the dynamic interplay and subtle shifts in balance that are required collectively from the ensemble to best achieve these effects.

…a really impressive Reich debut from Third Coast Percussion. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Robert Levine
Stereophile, May 2016

The members of Third Coast Percussion play with energy, sensitivity, and warmth; the sound never exhausts. A blast. © 2016 Stereophile

Marc Medwin
Fanfare, May 2016

…Reich’s pulse patterns are rendered with stunning clarity, but the timbral contrast these players bring to the work must be heard to be believed. Many performers of the large work achieve a timbral unity, and while the aesthetic is satisfying, Third Coast goes for a sound similar to that fantastic ECM version of Music for Eighteen Musicians, where sonic differentiation exists in symbiosis with the governing rhythms. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Patrick Rucker
The Washington Post, April 2016

[Third Coast Percussion’s] rich resonance, combined with the variety of pitches and shifting dynamics, evokes a kaleidoscopic dithyramb of rare power.

TCP, along with pianists David Friend and Oliver Hagen, creates the exquisitely enveloping, undulating soundscapes so characteristic of mature Reich with great imagination and finesse. Transitions between movements are imbued with a striking blend of the startling, foreboding and the alluring. © 2016 The Washington Post Read complete review

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, March 2016

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. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Joshua Kosman
San Francisco Chronicle, March 2016

…you can hear in the group’s playing just how easily this music comes to them—the rhythms both loose-limbed and precise, the textures finely worked out but wonderfully natural. © 2016 San Francisco Chronicle Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, March 2016

Third Coast Percussion gives us some beautifully exemplary performances fully worthy of the 80th birthday year. Remarkable works, played remarkably well. Everyone should hear this album, this music. Reich is one of our greatest treasures! © 2016 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

James Manheim, March 2016

The Nagoya Marimbas (1996) receives a performance that, in the words of the players, “blends the characteristic Reich marimba sound with an expressive, nuanced approach to dynamic shaping”; …this is a fine survey of Reich’s percussion music… © 2016 Read complete review

Rick Anderson
Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist, March 2016

This is a very fine overview of pieces by American composer Steve Reich, presenting works that span 40 years of his career. …The Third Coast Percussion ensemble performs all of them with both skill and evident enjoyment, …the marimba compositions are ripplingly gorgeous and the whole album is very strongly recommended to all collections, even those that don’t normally focus on classical music. © 2016 Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist Read complete review

Kara Dahl Russell
The WSCL Blog, February 2016

New works by Reich played by this accomplished and esteemed percussion ensemble. © 2016 The WSCL Blog

Stephen Smoliar, February 2016

The album offers four of Steve Reich’s most notable percussion works and was produced as [Third Coast Percussion’s] way of acknowledging that composer’s 80th birthday, …the works on the new album are “Music for Pieces of Wood” (1973), “Sextet” (1984), “Nagoya Marimbas” (1994), and “Mallet Quartet” (2009).

…this recording presents robust accounts of all four of these compositions. The capture technology is of a quality by means of which the attentive listener will appreciate both the intricacies of Reich’s approaches to detail and the extent to which each composition has its own characteristically unique overall architecture. The best way to affirm this point is through personal experience. © 2016 Read complete review

Jeff Simon
The Buffalo News, February 2016

…a record celebrating Reich’s 80th birthday this year from younger musicians for whom it is part of the musical weather system they were born into. In other words, for Third Coast Percussion, Steve Reich is, literally, “classical music” of their own time. …there’s a stateliness about this project which is a virtue of its own. © 2016 The Buffalo News Read complete review

Maggie Molloy
Second Inversion, February 2016

Comprised of percussionists David Skidmore, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and Sean Connors, Third Coast Percussion is committed to exploring and expanding the vast sonic possibilities of the percussion repertoire—and there is plenty to explore in Reich’s work alone.

Third Coast Percussion twirls effortlessly through the circling motives and interlocking canons of the two outer movements, transitioning seamlessly both in and out of the central slow movement. © 2016 Second Inversion Read complete review, February 2016

The actual performance is excellent, the four percussionists handing off to or blending with one another with a smoothness that is almost intuitive. …the playing here is first-rate. © 2016 Read complete review

Doyle Armbrust
WQXR (New York), February 2016

There is no shortage of Reich’s percussion oeuvre on CD, but TCP comes out swinging with a stunning capture of the now 80-year-old’s Mallet Quartet (2009). Like careening down a Teflon-coated Slip ’n Slide covered in glycerin, the flow of time in movement one, “Fast,” is frictionless, propelling the listener ever forward, unencumbered by bar lines. Movement two, “Slow,” is heartbreaking, with its catch-breath, asymmetrical beat structure and reluctant harmonies played here with absorbing empathy by the quartet. © 2016 WQXR (New York) Read complete review

Robert Benson, February 2016

…a terrific collection of some of [Reich’s] imaginative works, many featuring marimbas. All are played to perfection by the superb Third Coast Percussion group. Absolutely delightful throughout, and the wide-range engineering captures all of the instruments’ beauty. © 2016 Read complete review

Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), January 2016

Third Coast Percussion makes its Cedille label debut with an 80th birthday salute to visionary American composer Steve Reich, a Pulitzer Prize winner and founding father of musical minimalism. The album offers four of the composer’s most celebrated works for percussion, including Mallet Quartet, Sextet, and Nagoya Marimbas. The group is joined by eighth blackbird’s Matthew Duvall for Music for Pieces of Wood, played on five wooden slats tuned to specific pitches for an astonishing variety of sounds. © 2016 WFMT (Chicago)

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group