Note: So far, this piece has been broadcast on the following public radio stations: New Hampshire Public Radio’s Word of Mouth, WDAV’s Artist Spotlight, Tapestry on 90.3 WBHM in Birmingham Alabama, WRVO in Upstate NY and KUAR, in Little Rock!
Steve Reich is perhaps the preeminent composer living today. And one of his most heart-wrenching and affecting works is called Different Trains for String Quartet and Tape. It tells the story of Steve Reich’s early childhood — his train trips between the East and West coasts to visit his separated parents — and also of the train trips Jews were forced to take during the Holocaust.
The piece, commissioned by the Kronos Quartet in 1988, is notoriously difficult to play. But the Borromeo String Quartet has recently taken up the challenge. ThoughtCast’s Jenny Attiyeh attended a rehearsal at the New England Conservatory, where the Borromeo is currently in residence.