“ALL MUSIC IS FOLK MUSIC”
Four Organs marks a divide in Reich's output between the rigorously experimental works of the sixties and what proved to be the more immediately appealing works that followed. The piece is still sufficiently uncompromising in its minimalist approach to serve as a litmus test dividing “mainstream” listeners from the coterie of its devotees. The latter notice, and become fascinated by, the gradual processes; the former mainly notice, and become irritated by, the repetitions. This became clear in January 1973 when the young conductor Michael Tilson Thomas (b. 1944) offered the piece to a Boston Symphony subscription audience in New York's Carnegie Hall, and elicited perhaps the last memorable twentieth-century succès de scandale. (Among the uncorroborated details that went from mouth to mouth was a woman shouting, “All right, I'll confess!”) For the next decade, Reich's primary venues would remain the art museums and downtown halls where various “alternative” musics rubbed shoulders, and his principal means of disseminating his work remained his own touring group. Further exposure to concert audiences would wait. But in the meantime, Reich's style underwent a change.
- Citation (MLA):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 8 A Harmonious Avant-Garde?." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 5 Sep. 2015. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-008008.xml>.
- Citation (APA):
- Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 8 A Harmonious Avant-Garde?. In Oxford University Press, Music in the Late Twentieth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 5 Sep. 2015, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-008008.xml
- Citation (Chicago):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 8 A Harmonious Avant-Garde?." In Music in the Late Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 5 Sep. 2015, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-008008.xml