Ivan Ilić – Reicha Rediscovered

ivan

Ivan Ilić is a badass motherfucker on the black and whites. In the classical world he started raising eyebrows and shocking poor old ladies half-to-death by rearranging Debussy Préludes on an album back in ’08. I know. I know! What a fucking asshole! The horror of it all! Nonetheless, it was a ballsy move in these very timid and peevish circles and he got notice for it. So, with some acclaim at his back and a reputation to fuck dat shit up, Ivan decided to play the works of Anton Reicha. The big question behind his move is a simple one. 

Who the hot fuck is Anton Reicha? 

If you’re blanking on the name, don’t worry, Reicha is about as underground as a motherfucker can get. Dude was hipster before that shit even existed. You think your band is underground? How about being underground since the fucking 1800s? Reicha was mad skilled. Dude was outrageously smart and developed techniques way the fuck ahead of his time. And, get this, his best buddy growing up was fucking Beethoven. Ya, that asshole. Imagine being Beethoven’s best friend while also being a budding classical musician yourself. How the fuck would you exist in that long Beethoven-shaped shadow? Well, that’s easy, you don’t. You’d simply be forgotten. These guys were childhood friends and shit. They played in bands together. They even hit up music college together. But when Beethoven went off to study under the megastar teacher Hayden, Reicha was left alone. It’s like this motherfucker was intentionally left in the cracks of history. Though, he did eventually teach his mad skills to some students, some of whom made a couple dents in history. But I’m sure each pimply-faced motherfucker he taught asked him at least once, “So, did you, like, really know Beethoven or whatever?” Fucking dicks. 

A bunch of Reicha’s scores were published only recently. And after you listen to Ivan throw his chops on this shit you’ll ask the same question I did, “How the fuck was Reicha published only recently?” Well, I guess Beethoven’s shadow must be really fucking big. And we do tend to focus on the big, bright, flowery figures of history and paint over the rest as fast as we fucking can. Or, as Donald Glover likes to say, “This is America” (even if you’re not in America you understand my fucking point. Also, stop being that asshole). Reicha’s music is surprisingly fun to listen to. It’s not the type of shit you’d think would come from a long forgotten dark figure of history. That’s not to say that it’s all bubbly either. But no matter what it is, Reicha needs to be part of the classical music repertoire. It’s bullshit that he’s not there already. 

Ivan is making five Reicha albums. And good the fuck for him. It’s hard to dislike the guy who cheers on the underdog, even if that cheer is two hundred years late. So, if you want to join in on the fight and give props to someone who fucking deserves it, all you’ve got to do is listen to this shit. If you don’t, Reicha will be lost yet again in obscurity and covered by bullshit news of whatever-the-fuck and stories of who-the-fuck-cares having sex with I-don’t-give-a-shit. And I am not willing to have sex tapes and twitter feeds cover the works of a forgotten classical genius. 

 

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