- Riley on stage with Ictus in Cité de la Musique, Paris
Andante, Ivan Moody, International Record Review 2001
Terry Riley, In C
"I defy anyone not to be hypnotized by this performance"
I'm not sure that I have enough superlatives to review this disc properly. It is a triumphant - and live - rendition of this staggering, visionary work (I still remember the shock and physical anger I felt when hearing this piece on the radio for the first time, aged 14 or so, having assiduously absorbed all that BBC Radio 3's series 'Music in our Time' could throw at me up to that point without demur!). Ictus, as at home with Riley as they are with Lindberg, bring the most astonishing resonance to the work, evident from the very first note. They bring out the music's intensely lyrical qualities at the same time as making one aware of the huge structural spans implicit in Riley's scheme of 53 tiny cells.
Ictus use percussion (lots of it, of the tuned variety), double-basses, harp, cello, guitar, piano, accordion, oboe, violin and clarinets together with the four saxophones of the Blindman Kwartet; and the result is a delicately scored performance which allows all manner of subtlety to come through the texture. Somehow it is just the right combination of strings, wood and metal, and Ictus's magnificent, controlled use of soft dynamics (called for specifically by the composer in his performance note) work magic. I defy anyone not to be hypnotized by this performance - there's so much to fascinate the ear. A formidable achievement.