Steve Reich/Gerhard Richter reviews - Britten Sinfonia

Steve Reich/Gerhard Richter reviews

Reviews from the European premiere performance of Reich/Richter at the Barbican and Saffron Hall, programmed with Reich’s Runner and Pulse (Saffron Hall only).

The Times

"Reich's new score, partly commissioned by the Barbican, delivered over 38 minutes with unstinting aplomb by Britten Sinfonia and the percussionist/conductor Colin Currie, occupied familiar minimalist ground."

The Observer

"On screen, Richter's abstract images, using 946-3 (2016) as a starting point, split and multiply into an entire grammar of ornament and colour. Reich's music, played live - stunningly, by Britten Sinfonia, who also performed his Runner (2016) - sounds as if it's doing the reverse."

The Guardian

"An ever-shifting new composition by Steve Reich is set to a Rorschach-like new film by Gerhard Richter, with wonderfully disorientating, hypnotic results."

The Telegraph

"Bringing together one of the world’s greatest living composers and the most celebrated living painter to make a joint music-and-moving-images work: it’s certainly a dream ticket from the marketing point of view. And as Wednesday night’s performance of Reich/Richter from the Britten Sinfonia and conductor Colin Currie showed, when there’s a real affinity of mind and method it can lead to something of truly spellbinding power."


"This sold-out performance at the Barbican was led by experienced Reich interpreter Colin Currie, whose performances of this music are rightly renowned, and the versatile Britten Sinfonia. Reich himself looked on from the projection desk in the stalls..."

"Currie's jagged and dramatic cues helped to punctuate the work with moments of dramatic and lyrical intensity; woodwind and percussion attacks gave bite to a work that sometimes sags. Britten Sinfonia made the works diaphanous, translucent, ending mysterious and fragile."

The Quietus

"Far from being the dry, academic process that might imply, the evanescent forms that appear in Reich's music are powerfully optimistic in a way that feels honest, unflinchingly brave and essentially human."

"For me, Reich's music has always accessed the "cauldron of creative form", "god's workshop", or whatever else you would like to call that realm, and tonight's imaginistic counterpart perfectly complemented that process."

London Jazz News

"Whilst Reich’s rigorously constructed orchestral composition was expertly executed by the 14-piece Britten Sinfonia conducted by percussionist Colin Currie, the impression was anodyne, verging on ‘easy listening’..."