New York Counterpoint
This music is only digitally available.
Roeland Hendrikx - New York Counterpoint
Belgian clarinet virtuoso Roeland Hendrikx has been wanting to record the New York Counterpoint for some time, if only because it is such a masterpiece: “the sound palette Reich conjures up is unbelievably rich: it is easy to perceive all sorts of electronic vibes in a texture which is produced by no more than “ordinary” clarinets. It generates an incredible ambiance: you feel the frenzy of the New York rush hour slowly invade your body while you listen”.
“You can play this gem as a soloist with tape – as Reich intended it – or with a clarinet ensemble – I’ve done it with the Maastricht Conservatory’s clarinet choir a couple of times. But to me the work is more powerful when all the parts are performed by the same player: it brings to the ensemble playing an extra layer of unity and harmony, and the disharmony inherent in counterpoint is served much better if you go up against yourself. You are, after all, your own best mate, and your own worst enemy. Since you are only as good or as bad as yourself, there are no superior or inferior roles in this “split personality” sort of counterpoint”.
the New York Counterpoint became a timely occasion for conceptual innovation. Corona unwittingly provided empty recording studios and lots of time on idle musicians’ hands. And due to its solitary essence, the New York Counterpoint complies with all social distancing rules: it merely involves an enterprising clarinet player in the recording room, and a brilliant engineer at the controls. But this operational blessing is nothing compared to the revolution for the listener.
- 1. New York Counterpoint: I. Fast (04:43) - S. Reich
2. New York Counterpoint: II. Slow (02:33) - S. Reich
3. New York Counterpoint: III. Fast (03:23) - S. Reich