LUDWIG VAN TORONTO: PRIMER | The Rolston Quartet Brings Different Trains To Soundstreams

“Since its premiere in 1988 by the Kronos Quartet, Steve Reich’s Different Trains became an instant favourite.  Its rhythmic drive and hypnotic movement are immediately relatable, and the spoken fragments and train horns quickly create a vignette of the past. However, as we get comfortable with the tableau of the first movement, we are abruptly taken into a different world — the sky filling out with sinister cues, the screeching noises of the trains, those eerie spoken words. Without prior knowledge, this unexpected scene is confusing and jarring, even when it transitions to the third movement, lifting us out through the familiar conductor’s voice and fading consonance of the quartet.  My first listening of this work made me run to the library immediately, to find out what I had just heard.”

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