Royal Festival Hall, London

Steve Reich  Music for 18 Musicians
Colin Currie Group (rehearsal director Micaela Haslam)

May 2016

“Particularly impressive was the staccato of Synergy Vocals, but the standard was so high that it is difficult to zero-in on any one performer for praise”



By Mark Thomas, 25 May 2016

“Minimalism with maximum impact: luminous Reich

As a composer, it must be comforting to know that there are groups of musicians who specialise in your music. This is certainly the case for Steve Reich. Two of his close collaborators, the Colin Currie Group and Synergy Vocals, teamed up to produce a scintillating and masterful performance of (his) great masterpiece, Music for 18 Musicians. This landmark piece requires heavy concentration and stamina from the performers. The combined forces of the Colin Currie Group and Synergy Vocals produced an authoritative and quite exceptional performance. The togetherness of the extended ensemble was apparent, with the pure, non-vibrato voices complementing perfectly the luminous textures created by the instrumentalists. The ensemble tackled the complex interactions between the various lines and the underlying harmonies with fluidity and panache, but, above all, created iridescent tones and a transcendental sheen. But the true revelation here is how such a structured, mechanistic approach can somehow create excitement and heightened emotions of joy and redemption. It is a bizarre conundrum, but it works, and, when performed in such superb style by these two ensembles, it is incredibly powerful.”


Posted in Reviews.