Music for 18 Musicians

Ensemble Modern

DTzM Musik 2022/23
Gruppenporträt des Ensemble Modern im Aussenbereich des Bürokomplexes "Die Welle" in der Innenstadt von Frankfurt am Main am Dienstag, 20.10.2020

The American composer Steve Reich is regarded as one of the pioneers of minimal music. His ›Music for 18 Musicians‹ (written between 1974 and 1976) is one of the key works of its oeuvre. A microcosm of rhythmical sounds and repetitive patterns which creates a fascinating maelstrom: each of the eleven sections are founded on their own chord, out of which the material for the instrumentalisation and four female singers emerges. Steve Reich was inspired by West African music and Indonesian gamelan drummers – so Music for 18 Musicians is played without a conductor. The world premiere took place in New York in 1976, performed by the »Steve Reich and Musicians« ensemble. 20 years later it found its way to Europe, where it was performed by the Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt. This would not have been possible without the composer being present because no proper score existed, only sketches for musicians. Since working together to prepare a detailed score, the Ensemble Modern and Steve Reich have enjoyed a long and fruitful artistic relationship and have given concerts all over the world.