Critical Acclaim

04.03.17
Colin Currie Group

“Another performance that knocked my socks off was Colin Currie and his group doing Drumming at the South Bank [in London] this year. It was miked up high, it was expressionist, it was a brand new take. And I thought, Oh, we never could have done it that way.”
Steve Reich in Irish Times

“The performances, led by Currie, seemed exemplary. Each performance worked like a well-oiled machine, the players appearing to stroll from one instrument to the next. It’s the musical equivalent of a high-wire act; everyone is striving mightily to seem relaxed, but we know disaster is only one slip away.
Daily Telegraph

“The performance was technically impeccable and musically overwhelming; richly deserving of the lengthy standing ovation.”
The Guardian

“Held together by eye contact, ear contact, intimate understanding of the score and collective breathing, the performance was both aurally and visually exciting – a work of art and also one of craft at its most disciplined and alert.”
The Independent

"The implacable sound of the bongos mixes with the visual ballet... the marimbas answer each other in a sonorous halo where all the parameters of the sound intertwine and mix: rhythm, melody, timbre, texture."
Bachtrack

"I was exhausted and elated just listening to it. I can’t imagine the feelings of those performing."
The Times

“A stirring performance led by the percussionist Colin Currie.. written for two vibraphones and two pianos, the 17-minute Quartet is Mr. Reich’s first piece for those two instruments alone, and the combination is ingenious and seductive, and deployed with subtle craftsmanship.”
The New York Times

“Reich's Music for 18 Musicians rarely comes better presented than it was by the Colin Currie Group... The performance was technically impeccable and musically overwhelming; richly deserving of the lengthy standing ovation.”
The Guardian *****

“Currie and his chamber group gave scintillating performances of three Reich classics, culminating in a magnificent account of his chef d’oeuvre, Music for 18 Musicians. The Festival Hall acoustic was perfect, allowing it to create the impression of a complex mobile gracefully turning, in which each musician played an independent and eloquent part. It was one thing and many things, simultaneously static and bursting with event: a joyful conundrum.”
The Independent *****

“To be able to sustain this level of complexity from such simple basic material was a tour de force for both composer and performers. As an experience in sound, this was a revelation but it packed a powerful visual punch as well.”
Herald Scotland

“The Colin Currie Group and Synergy Vocals delivered in spades. Their knowledge and understanding of Reich's music as well as their dedication and enthusiasm was evident in this mesmerising performance of three totally absorbing pieces, each different in scale and tone.”
Bachtrack *****

"The joy here was the sense of communion between the visibly enthused performers and a beaming audience high on hypnotic percussion"
The Times

“…I do not expect to hear this remarkable hour-long piece played better. Reich may now be an avowedly non-orchestral composer, but when all nine percussionists are playing the three marimbas on stage, and the whole is topped off by the two female singers of Synergy Vocals, if the sound is not exactly lush, it is hard to imagine music that is any richer.”
Herald Scotland

“The ensemble didn’t hang about, moving swiftly from section to section in an already fast-paced performance. But by the glorious conclusion, which joyously blended all we’d heard before, the group had achieved an almost spiritual beauty. An exceptional performance.”
The Scotsman

“There was a real sense of occasion at this performance. The Colin Currie Group did not put a foot wrong, blending from one sound-world to the next with ideal subtlety and building quite a head of elation by the end.”
Financial Times

“This recording of Steve Reich’s percussion epic is thunderously exciting, thrusting us into the action.”
The Times *****

"A blistering account of Reich’s masterpiece and a spectacular first release for the Currie label.”
Classical Source

“Quartet has plenty of antecedents in Reich’s output, both for its glittering, glamorous sound-world, and also its two-times-two pairing of instruments playing in canon (copying each other at a short distance). But it also connects with a specifically American tradition, at times fleetingly echoing Bernstein or even Sondheim… Sextet for percussion and keyboards showed off the six musicians’ versatility as they moved from instrument to instrument.”
Financial Times

“Its grace belies its difficulty: it was played with an unassuming virtuosity and a well-nigh faultless sense of ensemble, in which mutual understanding is paramount... Both works demand immense reserves of stamina and concentration on the part of their players, challenges superbly met in performances at once hypnotic and thrilling.”
The Guardian

“The all-Reich programme included gripping accounts of those iridescent classics of rhythmic patterning Sextet and Mallet Quartet, and ended with the new, commissioned work. This 17-minute quartet proved more of the same suave Reichian thing: moiré patterns that tease us endlessly, until the actual end comes always with its touch of drama.”
Sunday Times

“Watching the Colin Currie Group performing Reich's early-Seventies landmark work Drumming, one is struck by the intense levels of concentration required to bring the 70-minute piece successfully through its various stages. Currie's 12-piece ensemble is exceptionally focused, and the result holds the audience rapt throughout its duration.”
The Independent *****