The Swedish composer Ingvar Lidholm has a very strong CV, taking in periods of study in France, Switzerland and Italy, courses in Darmstadt, professor of composition at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and membership of the ISCM Presidium. He does not seem to have been a prolific composer and this CD is the first of a proposed series by BIS featuring Lidholm's orchestral works. He is evidently fond of single movements works and all the pieces on this record are in this form. The pieces span 35 years of Lidholm's working life and form a good introduction to his music.
The hook for this terrific recording of three of Steve Reich's most attractive works is the use of alternate versions of the several pieces that differ from the original recordings on Nonesuch. This recording has Reich's imprimatur; he enthusiastically recommends the performances in a program note. The most radical departure from the original version is Piano Counterpoint, Vincent Corver's arrangement of Six Pianos for a single live pianist with the other five parts prerecorded. This allows the piece to fit nicely into Reich's "Counterpoint" series, which includes Vermont Counterpoint for flutes and New York Counterpoint for clarinets. Corver also speeds up the tempo so the piece has an even more propulsive aural energy, although in live performance it's hard to beat the visceral excitement of six pianists on-stage. The London Steve Reich Ensemble version of the Triple Quartet, unlike the Kronos Quartet's premiere recording, uses three live quartets, and is one of three performance options that Reich specified in the score, the third being an orchestral version with 36 players. This is the first commercial recording of this version.