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Radio ›› Steve Reich: Different Trains
1 June 2007
By BLG in Downtown Music Gallery (USA), June 1, 2007

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“A new must-have for you to discover.”

A major opus in Reich’s body of work, Different Trains pioneered in 1968 a new form of composition developed from his earlier tape pieces It’s Gonna Rain (1965) and Come Out (1966). The work consists of a prerecorded tape assembled from the voices of various people reminiscing about the Holocaust, sounds of American and European trains from the ‘30s and ‘40s, and three different string quartets. In addition to the tape is a fourth string quartet part for a live quartet. Quatuor Bozzini decided to offer a new reading of the work, including its very own recording of the three taped string quartets, a first ever since the premiere 1988 recording of the work, by the Kronos Quartet. Quatuor Bozzini embarked on this new reading after being advised to do so by Steve Reich himself. Quatuor Bozzini’s Different Trains turns a new page in the history of contemporary music. It provides a new landmark. A new must-have for you to discover.

blogue@press-3326 press@3326
1 January 2007
in Wayside Music (USA), January 1, 2007

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“Quatuor Bozzini’s Different Trains turns a new page in the history of contemporary music. It provides a new landmark.”

Excellent 27’-long disc with the last Steve Reich work that I’ve heard that I would consider a masterpiece. “A major opus in Reich’s body of work, Different Trains pioneered in 1988 a new form of composition developed from his earlier tape pieces It’s Gonna Rain (1965) and Come Out (1966). The idea for the piece came from Reich’s childhood. His parents separated when he was one year old. His mother moved to Los Angeles, while his father stayed in New York. Since they had arranged divided custody, he often traveled back and forth between those two cities, with his governess, in the years 1939-42. He composed the piece keeping in mind that, as a Jew, he would have found himself in a different situation had he been living in Europe at the time. The work consists of a prerecorded tape assembled from the voices of various people reminiscing about the Holocaust, sounds of American and European trains from the 30s and 40s, and three different string quartets. In addition to the tape is a fourth string quartet part for a live quartet. Quatuor Bozzini decided to offer a new reading of the work, including its very own recording of the three taped string quartets, a first ever since the premiere 1988 recording of the work, by the Kronos Quartet. Quatuor Bozzini embarked on this new reading after being advised to do so by Steve Reich himself. Quatuor Bozzini’s Different Trains turns a new page in the history of contemporary music. It provides a new landmark.”

blogue@press-3472 press@3472
8 September 2006
By Nicolas Pelletier in emoRAGEi (Québec), September 8, 2006

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Le Quatuor Bozzini est un prolifique ensemble de cordes entièrement féminin. [sic] Spécialisées dans l’interprétation des compositeurs classiques de notre temps, les musiciennes s’attaquent cette fois à l’Américain Steve Reich, un pionnier du minimalisme et de l’utilisation de motifs répétés. Le créateur du «loop», pourrait-on dire. Reich a aussi le mérite d’avoir intégré des bandes pré-enregistrées à ses œuvres, ainsi qu’à avoir élargi son champ d’action jusqu’à un opéra-vidéo en 2002. L’œuvre Different Trains date de 1988. Il s’agit de la superposition de plusieurs quatuors à cordes et de bandes où des bouts de phrases sont répétés. Le tout évoque les voyages en train que faisait Reich enfant, au début des années 1940, entre NYC et LA. Étant juif, il réalise par après la chance qu’il a eu d’être né en Amérique. En Allemagne, son voyage ferroviaire aurait sans doute été un aller simple vers la mort… Le Quatuor Bozzini en fait une interprétation magistrale, recréant les différents bruits d’un train avec leurs violons. Une œuvre hypnotique et impressionnante. Une fascinante réflexion humaine.

blogue@press-3305 press@3305
1 August 2006
By Paul Bijlsma in Phosphor #120 (Germany), August 1, 2006

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The Montréal-based string quartet Quatuor Bozzini offer a new reading of Steve Reich’s work Different trains, which follows the version by the Kronos Quartet from 1990. This work has been devided in three parts; America-before the war, Europe-during the war and After the war, all three clocking around nine minutes. Lovely violin playing has been larded with repetitive vocal samples and sounds from trains from the 30’s and 40’s, resulting in lovely and rich layers of sounds. Each track offers a certain tension, which makes you keep listening in full fascination. A very intruiging work!

blogue@press-3115 press@3115
10 March 2006
By Stephen Fruitman in Sonomu (UK), March 10, 2006

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“The quartet reinvigorate the piece with its intense playing and attention to detail…”

A new recording of Different Trains (1988), one of the most significant pieces in composer Steve Reich’s canon, as well as in the œuvre of works dealing with the undealable, the Nazi’s Final Solution.

Reich explores the Holocaust in a highly personal manner, by juxtaposing his relatively comfortable childhood in the US, being shuttled between his divorced parents across the American continent, with the tape recorded recollections of survivors who had been forced to travel across the European continent on entirely different sorts of trains. A groundbreaking aspect of the piece is the manner in which Reich takes the vocal snippets and has the string quartet imitate the rhythms and cadences of the voices, thereby rendering them in themselves musical. The piece has deservedly received innumerable awards and the World Premiere recording by The Kronos Quartet is simply superb. A devastating acheivement.

Quatuor Bozzini from Montréal (Clemens Merkel and Nadia Francavilla, violin; Stéphanie Bozzini, viola and Isabelle Bozzini, cello) were encouraged by Reich to attempt their own interpretation. The quartet reinvigorate the piece with its intense playing and attention to detail, and appear even to have inserted some samples of the recorded testimonies which do not appear on the original.

Different Trains is one of the strongest works of the postwar era. So which to buy? Why not Quatuor Bozzini’s? Aside from the fact that it is every bit as good as Kronos’ version, you will be supporting a new group at the beginning of what promises to be a brilliant career (Kronos hardly need an introduction), own a very nifty little package, all folds and flaps, and spare yourself the tedious second piece on the Nonesuch release, Electric Counterpoint with Pat Metheny on guitar.

Collection QB is the quartet’s personal imprint under the DAME label umbrella in Quebec, which has already released a previous CD, Portrait Montréal, interpretations of works by their most immediate contemporaries.

blogue@press-3031 press@3031
1 March 2006
By Pierre Durr in Revue & Corrigée #67 (France), March 1, 2006

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“… une heureuse et dynamique relecture de l’œuvre.”

Different Trains est probablement une des œuvres fondamentales de Steve Reich, prélude à ses opéras-vidéos, en introduisant dans la trame répétitive divers effets, collages, voix (la bande magnétique complémentaire superpose trois quatuors à cordes, servant de repère à la prestation scénique du Kronos Quartet). Sur scène, pour peu que la scénographie, la répartition des enceintes acoustiques soient à l’unisson, l’œuvre permet une visualisation sonore à la fois ouverte et ciblée.

Plusieurs versions en ont été enregistrées depuis celle du Kronos Quartet en l988, sans oublier celle, plus récente (2003) de l’orchestre national de Lyon et ses 48 cordes. Le Quatuor Bozzini, dont c’est ici le second enregistrement, ne pouvait qu’integrer à son répertoire cette œuvre majeure du vingtième siècle finissant. Présenté en public il y a plus d’un an, Different Trains, évoquant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, était associé à Black Angels — thirteen images from the Dark Land (relatif au Vietnam) de George Crumb, lors d’un récital titré «in tempore belli» (en temps de guerre). Le Quatuor à cordes canadien s’est particulièrement impliqué à retravailler l’œuvre de Steve Reich, allant jusqu’à réenregistrer lui-même la bande magnétique complémentaire, ce qui permet aux quatre musiciens de jouir d’une liberté d’exécution et de sonorité que les différents quatuors interprètes n’avaient pas en utilisant la bande préenregistrée initialement par le Kronos. Une manière donc de s’approprier, avec le consentement de Steve Reich lui-même, une heureuse et dynamique relecture de l’œuvre.

blogue@press-3051 press@3051

Other texts in

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