Reich + Bach
Jeffrey Herman

Steve Reich on Tehillim + Bach

Bach, Revisited with Saariaho, Tower, and Reich

Reich + Bach

Ensemble Signal

Thursday, May 15, 2014, 8pm

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The Bach series is back with a special anniversary twist: three extraordinary living composers, featured in past Composer Portraits concerts, return to curate a special evening pairing their music with favorite pieces of Bach. The composers join director Melissa Smey onstage for a conversation at each concert.

American icon Steve Reich curates a program pairing two powerhouse sacred works for voices and chamber ensemble. A setting of Hebrew psalms,Tehillim is Reich at his transcendent best, by turns meditative and ecstatic. Reich credits Bach’s cantata as an important inspiration, its third-movement duet a model for his own. The thread of taking inspiration from the past extends to the Bach: his cantata was based on a Martin Luther hymn, which was itself an adaptation of a 12th-century Easter tune.



  • Bach Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4
  • Reich Tehillim (1981)