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Review

Margles, The WholeNote, no 11:5, 1 février 2006

Different Trains, from 1988, remains Reich’s most moving work to date. Reich recorded the voices of a Pullman porter who worked the NY – LA line that Reich traveled to visit his mother when he was a child, the governess who accompanied him, three Holocaust survivors, and train sounds. Each quartet pre-recorded three separate tracks to accompany it in performance. The Quatuor Bozzini, based at Concordia University in Montréal, has produced a vivid, gutsy recording. Closely miked, it clearly differentiates the prerecorded tracks from what’s being performed live in the studio. When a taped voice says ‘Black crows invaded our county’ the solo cello responds with hair-raising effect. But the cute cover art and unwieldy packaging don’t appeal to me, and much as I object to choosing a disc for its playing time, 27 minutes seems stingy - as does the lack of information about the piece. At least they give the texts correctly (though without punctuation).

The Quatuor Bozzini… has produced a vivid, gutsy recording.

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