Steve Reich (1936)

Eight Lines (1983)

for ensemble

  • General information
    • Composition date: 1983
    • Duration: 18 mn
    • Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Detailed formation
  • 2 flutes (also 1 piccolo), 2 clarinets (also 1 bass clarinet), 2 pianos, 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos

Premiere information

  • Date: 10 December 1983

    États-Unis, New York, 92nd Street Y


    les Solisti New York, direction : Ransom Wilson.


  • version révisée de Octet.
  • quand la salle de concert est de plus de 200 places, les flûtes (mais non les piccolos ni les clarinettes) doivent être amplifiées.

Program note

Eight Lines is structured in five sections, of which the first and third resemble each other in their moving piano, cello, viola and bass clarinet figures, while the second and fourth sections resemble each other in their longer held tones in the cello. The fifth and final section combines these materials. The transitions between sections is as smooth as possible with some overlapping in the parts so that it is sometimes hard to tell exactly when one section ends and the next begins.

In the first, third and fifth sections there are somewhat longer melodic lines in the flute and/or piccolo. This interest in longer melodic lines composed of shorter patterns strung together has its roots in my earlier music as well as my studies in 1976-77 of the cantillation (chanting) of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Steve Reich.