Arts and Entertainment

Press "Play" and stand well back: RR+P's 1981 debut is still strong stuff, with a level of energy and experiment that shames today's boho fringe.

Album: The Knights, A Second of Silence (Ancalagon)

The starting point for this intriguing programme from young US ensemble The Knights is Morton Feldman's suggestion that part of the magic of Schubert is "that kind of hovering, as if you're in a register you've never heard".

Album: Paul Weller, Sonik Kicks (Island)

Weller's renaissance is as heartening as it is unexpected.

Album: Florence + the Machine, Ceremonials (Island )

For her follow-up to Lungs, Florence Welch wanted to make something "dramatic and really huge and kind of spooky", an intention which Ceremonials bears out with storm-cloud arrangements, big, rolling drum riffs and ghost-story songs.

Steve Reich: Drumming, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Landmark work that's hard to beat

Album: Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, New Directions in Music (él)

These early pieces by Boulez and Stockhausen may have palled slightly with age, but still impart a powerful evocation of the excitement of the postwar avant-garde.

Album: Tom Waits, Glitter & Doom Live (Anti-)

Seventeen songs lifted from 10 different venues on last year's US and European tours, and by no means a greatest hits.

Album: Terry Riley, In C (Sony Classical)

Reissued to celebrate its 40th anniversary, Terry Riley's In C not only remains one of the keystone works of minimalism, but – unlike many pieces in that style – has actually grown in stature: what was once considered a strange experiment now stands as a landmark of 20th century music.

Album: Arne Deforce, Yutaka Oya, Morton Feldman: Patterns in a Chromatic Field (Aeon)

The cello and piano piece Patterns in a Chromatic Field dates from the early 1980s, when Feldman's fascination with subtly asymmetric patternings was yielding to the obsession with stasis that would lead to monumental epics.

Album: Steve Reich, Daniel Variations (Nonesuch)

Propelled by darting vibes and dancing violins, Steve Reich’s four-movement memorial to the murdered American journalist Daniel Pearl interpolates apocalyptic dreams from the “Book of Daniel” with Pearl’s own words. Old Testament terror jars against the simplicity of what Pearl said to a friend when asked if he believed in an afterlife: “I don’t know... But I sure hope Gabriel likes my music.” It’s a powerful,thoughtful, loving piece but the voices of the Los Angeles Master Chorale are weak. Far superior is the London Sinfonietta’s performance: a work of classically Reichian dazzled ecstasy.

Nam June Paik

Avant-garde video artist

Preview: Orphee, Royal Opera House, London

Music that outsings the birds

Album: Electrelane

Axes, TOO PURE

Minimalist with a message

A premiere confirms there's more to Steve Reich than meets the ear

LSO/Boulez, Barbican, London

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