Reich gets personal with new 9/11 piece for Kronos Quartet

Posted on: April 4, 2011

In Sunday’s (4/3) Los Angeles Times, Kevin Berger writes, “Two weeks ago, as [Steve] Reich, 74, recounted his native New York’s darkest day, the dread in his voice gave way to satisfaction. On April 6 at Renée & Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, the pied pipers of innovative music, the Kronos Quartet, will perform his new work, ‘WTC 9/11,’ a signature Reich piece that blends pulsating strings with recorded voices from people at Ground Zero. … ‘This was not some media event for me,’ he said. ‘It was a terrifying personal experience that I will never forget.’ … Reich said that when he received a commission in 2010 from the Kronos Quartet, who wanted an electronic piece with recorded voices, ‘I was absolutely blank about what the subject matter would be.’ Four long months passed until he had his epiphany. ‘I have unfinished business,’ he said he thought. ‘I haven’t dealt with 9/11. The experience of writing ‘WTC 9/11’ had more surprises than almost any piece I can remember writing. It wanted to be terse. It wanted to be understated. It’s very intense subject matter and you don’t need much to feel it.’ ”

Posted April 4, 2011