David Browne
July 25, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Works 1965-1995

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Steve Reich
genre
Reissues

We gave it an A-

Steve Reich may be one of America’s preeminent new-classical composers, but don’t be intimidated by that claim to fame or this 10-CD retrospective. From experiments with sound collage and repetitive pulse through collaborations with Pat Metheny and recent works like ”City Life” (using samples of urban sounds), pop, jazz, or folk fans should easily connect with at least a few pieces. It’s a shame that some, like the mathematically precise marimba/vibes manifesto ”Music for 18 Musicians,” were re-recorded for this set. But Works 1965-1995 proves that Reich truly took minimalism to the max. A-

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