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Tasting Music 1 — Steve Reich, Different Trains

  • Charles Smith Wines 35 South Spokane Street Walla Walla, WA, 99362 United States (map)

Steve Reich (b. 1936)
Different Trains (1988)
1   America — Before the war
2   Europe — During the war
3   After the war

The 2016 Tasting Music Series begins with a minimalist multimedia masterpiece by American composer, Steve Reich. His work, Different Trains for string quartet and tape, explores his childhood riding the rails between New York and Los Angeles. When his parents separated, the young Reich traveled with his nanny back and forth across the country from 1939 to 1942. As a Jew, Reich realized much later in life that had he been living in Europe during that time, he would have been riding a very different train.

Through minimalist techniques and the innovative exploration of speech melody, Reich conceived an incredibly moving score that feels like documentary on one hand and a very personal statement on the other. Tonight’s event will explore minimalism in music, and how a work inherently tied to recorded media can feel alive and resonant. The modern space at Charles Smith Wines provides the perfect setting to take this journey through time and sound.

Artists: Timothy Christie, viola; Norbert Lewandowski, cello; Christina McGann, violin; and Stephen Miahky, violin.

Commentary: Timothy Christie

Doors open at 5:00pm