Steve Reich’s seminal 1976 work Music for 18 Musicians brought the penultimate weekend of the Southbank Centre’s The Rest is Noise festival to a stunning close on Sunday 9th November, where the performance was greeted by a standing ovation from a capacity Royal Festival Hall audience. The festival has been featuring the most important works of the 20th century throughout 2013, with November being dedicated to the powerhouse American composers who re-shaped the direction of contemporary music from the late 1960’s onwards, with Steve Reich’s music occupying a central strand of the programming.
A five-starred review from Guy Dammann in The Guardian described the performance as ‘technically impeccable and musically overwhelming; richly deserving of the lengthy standing ovation”. Michael Church describes the evening as “one thing and many things, simultaneously static and bursting with event: a joyful conundrum” (The Independent). The four-starred review from The Times depicted this iconic piece as “vibrant with a kaleidoscope of changing colour, fanciful imagination and sheer glee in communication…”.