Kronos Quartet :: S&D

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I once owned an album by Kronos I think called Black Angels. Quite a dark, Romanian tinged grieving album from what I remember. Pretty affecting too. I think I know who borrowed it, must get it back.

But, ahem, anyway - thinking about adding a couple records to my collection. Anyone like them and can recommend their best recordings? Stuff to relax to, work to, read to, that kind of thing. Ta.

piers (piers), Friday, 8 October 2004 04:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I like the Kronos Quartet plays Philip Glass.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 8 October 2004 05:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I LOVE their album of Mexican music "Nuevo", it's all over the place stylewise, but it's all really great.

"DIfferent Trains" w Steve Reich = super good

They did a CD that mixes early music with some 20th century compositions that is maybe the most "read to, relax to" of their catalogue that I've heard but I've forgotten its title

Drew Daniel, Friday, 8 October 2004 05:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, Different Trains seconded. I always forget that that's Kronos.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 8 October 2004 05:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Also: the Kronos Quartet play the Philip Glass score to the film "Mishima" and it's a total masterpiece, some of his best IMHO, love it love it love it

good movie too

their "Short Stories" CD has a John Oswald piece on it, and their version of Howlin' Wolf's "Spoonful" too

Drew Daniel, Friday, 8 October 2004 05:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Some of that Mishima material is on the "Kronos Plays Glass" disc. IIRC, it's one of the only Glass compositions that hstencil likes!

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 8 October 2004 05:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

a CD that mixes early music with some 20th century compositions

that's indeed titled "early music". it has a couple of the late great moondog's pieces on it, amongst other stuff, iirc.

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Friday, 8 October 2004 05:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the whole mishima is awesome, and a great part where it morphs into surf guitar is missing from the kronos-glass disk.

i wish someone wld slsk that 10 disk thing they put out. then we'd know for sure. DUD = kronos playing hendrix

peter $.., Friday, 8 October 2004 05:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Different Trains!

They are in NYC performing a new work by Terry Riley at BAM as we speak. I won't be able to make it, but am catching Riley doing solo prepared piano songs on sunday.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Friday, 8 October 2004 05:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The BAM shows are on the 8th and 9th -- I may be going to the Friday one.

Where is the prepared piano thing?

pfeffernuesse (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 8 October 2004 06:08 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Cheers guys - will def check out all of these. The "plays Phillip Glass" disc - sounds interesting as I have a patchy Glass collection I enjoy. Did they also play the Glass Dracula album? But Mishisma, yeah think I need that.

Purple Haze wasn't it? Yeah a bit yuck that.

piers (piers), Friday, 8 October 2004 06:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Nuevo is great, I think about half of Pieces of Africa is pure genius while the other half is merely very good.

I don't think i've ever heard anything bythem i'd call a bad recording.

I was hoping to bring them out here in January to do a show for my ethiop music festival as they have gotten into it over the past year or tw and have been playing different ethiopian pices live but they're on tour - bah.

H (Heruy), Friday, 8 October 2004 06:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Pieces of Africa seconded

the todster (the todster), Friday, 8 October 2004 06:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

A lllong time ago I had a copy of Pieces of Africa on cassette, on which they played music written by African composers. Lots of percussion that suited their four-piece strings remarkably well (at least, that's how I remember it). My favorite piece by far on that album is "White Man Sleeps" by Kevin Volans (At the time (I was 18) I said to friends that I'd like it be one of the pieces that was going to be played on my funeral. Whatever that means, it's an amazing piece)

(3 x-post)

willem (willem), Friday, 8 October 2004 06:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

terry riley solo:

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Friday, 8 October 2004 14:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Did they also play the Glass Dracula album?


jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 8 October 2004 14:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

frankE (frankE), Friday, 8 October 2004 14:49 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

One of these days I'll actually listen to the rest of the box set (the first disc is great, though!)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 8 October 2004 14:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Definitely search "Short Stories." It's got the aforementioned tracks, plus "Cat O' Nine Tails" (I think?) by John Zorn, which is full-on cartoon music in the Carl Stalling vein. Neat album cover too, if memory serves.

Josh in Chicago (Josh in Chicago), Friday, 8 October 2004 14:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Most of the Requiem for a Dream soundtrack is performed by the Kronos Quartet and it's abolutely incredible. Also, there's a crappy recording floating around from a recent benefit show in NY where they backed up Tom Waits--I keep hoping someone recorded it for a dvd release sometime...

jedidiah (jedidiah), Friday, 8 October 2004 14:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

when i was in nyc, the cousin i was staying with had the glass covers disc, which was really nice.

m. (mitchlnw), Friday, 8 October 2004 15:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It's surprisingly Romantic for a Glass disc.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 8 October 2004 15:08 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

avec Aki Takahashi on Morton Feldman's Piano and String Quartet is blurry and beatific.

Beta (abeta), Friday, 8 October 2004 15:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


- the recently released revised edition of alban berg's "lyric suite" (unquestionably one of the best quartets of the 20th century) with added soprano (dawn upshaw) for the finale
- "performs philip glass" if only for the 5th quartet, which is surprisingly excellent. the others are passable background music
- "short stories" typically po-mo featuring works by gubaidulina, zorn and even a cover of willie dixon's "spoonful"
- "winter was hard" containing the best barber adagio i've heard, yet sadly failing to do justice to bartok's 3d quartet
- "alfred schnittke: the complete string quartets" - their best recording. period. schnittke is possibly the most interesting post-shostakovich russian composer, and his quartets are particularly mind-blowing. sure enough, the kronos quartet is made for this music.
- morton feldman's "piano and string quartet" - if you like this kind of stuff, of course. barely there variations on short bursts of melody, intersped with silence.


- "black angels" - never got the fuss. the title piece becomes quite meaningless on repeated listens, and the performance of shostakovich's 8th is pure overdrive (not a good thing). everyone should buy a set of shosty quartets as performed by the borodin quartet
- riley's "salome dances for peace" - meanders, regurgitates a few interesting themes and eventually arrives to a close, approximately 2 hours later.
- gorecki's 2 quartets, appallingly devoid of substance
- lutoslawski's "quartet" - great piece, subpar performance
- probably a lot more

you will be shot (you will be shot), Friday, 8 October 2004 15:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Someone told me they did an interesting cover of "Marquee Moon" .. I've not heard it.

dave225 (Dave225), Friday, 8 October 2004 15:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

it's not good.

wtf jaymc?!?

hstencil (hstencil), Friday, 8 October 2004 15:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

good. now I can stop looking out for it.

dave225 (Dave225), Friday, 8 October 2004 15:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Am I wrong?

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 8 October 2004 15:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

no, but I'd appreciate in the future if you didn't drag my interest and choices into threads that I haven't participated in. Sheesh.

hstencil (hstencil), Friday, 8 October 2004 15:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Um, OK, dude.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 8 October 2004 15:47 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It's not like I was attacking you or anything!

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 8 October 2004 15:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I wasn't offended when AdamL commented yesterday that I ate Kashi and linked to a year-old thread to prove it.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 8 October 2004 15:49 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'm not offended, more like perplexed. Like who cares? Why are you seemingly obsessed with me?

hstencil (hstencil), Friday, 8 October 2004 15:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

This is getting into a whole weird area.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 8 October 2004 15:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

you're telling me!

hstencil (hstencil), Friday, 8 October 2004 15:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'm not obsessed with you! I just remembered that fact, just as I would remember a fact about any other ILM poster, and thought it was worthy of mention. Like I remember, for example, that Cozen likes Tara Jane O'Neil. So if I write about her on ILM, I might say, "hey and Cozen likes her, too." (NB: I am using that example because it's literally the first thing that came to mind, and has nothing to do with any conversations we have had about TJO.)

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 8 October 2004 16:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i'll be at the terry riley/kronos 'sun rings' thing tonight at BAM, if anyone's going.

geeta (geeta), Friday, 8 October 2004 16:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

tell me how it should come to the thing on sunday.

ok, when I was a senior in High School I got this Nonesuch sampler CD because it had John Zorn on it(I'd been turned onto Zorn by some dude) and that CD introduced me to so much stuff, made me want to be a "new music" composer and go to Oberlin. That didn't last, but whatever. Anyway, 2 things on that CD that I remember loving, I want people to tell me if they're actually good, because I haven't heard them in close to 9 years.

One was Kronos Quartet performing Kevin Volans' White Man Sleeps.

The other was called John Somebody by Scott Johnson.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Friday, 8 October 2004 16:32 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

a friend saw Riley down at CinemaTexas doing the prepared piano bit, said it was awesome. also mentioned he then pulled out the preparations and did another piece that involved microtonal singing (me thinks it would be along the lines of Pandit Pran Nath). anyhow, i'm chuffed to see him at BAM.

Beta (abeta), Friday, 8 October 2004 16:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

yeah, I saw him do Raga vocal stuff a few months back. Very much looking forward to this sunday.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Friday, 8 October 2004 17:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Did they also play the Glass Dracula album?

yes, it's great. I saw them performing it with him once, playing behind a screen on which the film was being projected. Sometimes they were lit in such a way that you could see them as spectral presences. RoXoR.

loggedoutvicar, Friday, 8 October 2004 17:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

'you will be shot' liked your post very much

although I don't find Crumb's Black Angels meaningless, either musically or programmatically. and I think it's the best overall Kronos album, I like most of the other pieces on it as well, the Istvan Marta piece & their Ives arrangement...

I don't get much out of any of Riley's pieces for Kronos but that's just taste, I know many people think those are his best.

The Kronos Performs Philip Glass quartets album is pleasant bookstore music, but as noted upthread, it is all about the original Mishima soundtrack (if I had to reduce my Glass collection to three records it'd be this, Einstein and North Star)

I find many of their thematic compilation albums to be a bit stifling & calculated, but they're not catering to fringe listeners, they are trying to introduce new music to the widest possible audience and I think they do a wonderful job.

(Jon L), Friday, 8 October 2004 17:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

a new music fan/collector recently sold his collection to 2 friends of mine who work at a record store in brooklyn. I got first dibs and took a copy of the CBS/Tomato Einstein on the Beach box set, which I've been busy mashing up with Jive Rhythm Trax. Anyway, the cool thing was, that inside this box, this guy had a collection of like, a lifetime of NYC new music happenings, all these ticket stubs and playbills for performances of Glass operas. Really cool.

following that lead, another store, the Downtown Music Gallery, claims to have a bunch of copies of the Jon Gibson LP on Chatham Square for like 14 bucks.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Friday, 8 October 2004 17:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

>Jon Gibson LP on Chatham Square for like 14 bucks.

there are two -- Visitations is a murky environmental sound + flute collage, almost industrial strength lo-fi, like it but don't listen to it too much. Two Solo Pieces has "Cycles" for wall-of-sound solo organ, and is religious, and easily worth 14 bucks.

(Jon L), Friday, 8 October 2004 18:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

but you know that

(Jon L), Friday, 8 October 2004 18:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It's Two Solo Pieces. I lost an eBay auction for it some time ago, which is why I'm suprised he has a bunch for cheap. But not so suprised...sometimes they get stuff, years ago when DMG was still on 5th I stopped by and Mark Cunningham had just dropped off like a dozen copies of the John Gavanti record.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Friday, 8 October 2004 18:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

>It's Two Solo Pieces.

I say buy two

(Jon L), Friday, 8 October 2004 18:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I love 'piano and string quartet' but that's my only kronos so thanks again - quite a bit here.

(We need a thread for the arditti quartet if there isn't one)

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 8 October 2004 19:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
how is that set with asha bhosle??

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Saturday, 24 December 2005 06:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I am curious as well. I saw one bad review of it but have not heard it.

curmudgeon (DC Steve), Saturday, 24 December 2005 07:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

It's okay. Actually, I think I like the instrumentals best, aside from the first track. (I am just taking a break from being asleep, so maybe more when I am officially awake.)

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Saturday, 24 December 2005 11:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I'm a little perplexed at how little attention the CD has gotten though. Asha Bhosle isn't someone I would necessarilly expect to like anyway, but where is the music press? Did critics decide they weren't doing Asha Bhosle this year? I get the sense people with a casual interest have jumped off the Asha Bhosle band-wagon for the moment. It would be one thing if people were listening and then saying it's not that great an album, but have many people even listened to it?

(I realize it hasn't gone completely unnoticed, and it is even a Grammy nominee, but even the absence of discussion around here is curious.)

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Saturday, 24 December 2005 13:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The thing is, I'd actually be more interested in what people who are somewhat into Bhosle (or even more familiar with the Kronos Quartet) think of this thing, than in what I think of it. Most of the songs have certain sub-passages I really like, but overall I am not into Bollywood, or even much Indian music,whether through a Kronos Quartet prism or not.

(I like the Mysore Nagamani Srinath recording Sundar sent though. Carnatic classical, which seems to be my the broad sub-area of Indian music I find most accessible.)

Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Saturday, 24 December 2005 14:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
I really love the Bhosle/Kronos album -- grows on me every time I hear it (especially since my mom-music defenses were up at first). One thing I like about the way Kronos plays the stuff is that I don't think they really "westernize" it so much as just "kronos-ize" it. They don't try to iron out the quirks and nuances that make it bollywood music.

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Thursday, 16 February 2006 15:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Joan Jeanrenaud is doing a record release show tomorrow night -- are such things special enough to make a weeknight effort to see?

Leee, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 02:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

Anyone heard them play Reich's 9/11?

etc, Thursday, 17 May 2012 12:54 (five years ago) Permalink

lol @ hstencil upthread

Carrie Antwoord (jaymc), Thursday, 17 May 2012 13:08 (five years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

Aleksandra Vrebalov's "…hold me, neighbor, in this storm…" & Nicole Lizée "Death to Kosmische" were amazing.
40 year anniversary this year, wonder if Nonesuch or someone will do anything?

etc, Monday, 11 March 2013 10:00 (four years ago) Permalink

Saw 'em in a collaborative project with Laurie Anderson recently

curmudgeon, Monday, 11 March 2013 15:24 (four years ago) Permalink

Saw 'em in a collaborative project with Laurie Anderson recently

How was it? I'm seeing it in May.

Hideous Lump, Tuesday, 12 March 2013 02:23 (four years ago) Permalink

I was kinda disappointed tbh. Laurie's verbiage did not really impress me, and Kronos' playing was ok but not wow-worthy.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 13 March 2013 20:28 (four years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

Just saw Kronos with Malian group Trio de Kali, and it was a great show (their first public show together). I liked Kronos better live than I did a year ago. They did 2 compositions themselves first-- a short impressive kinda noisy one and then a longer one that was dedicated to their friends in Ukraine. After the intermission they were joined by Trio de Kali- a great southern Mali female vocalist; a Malian balafon player, and a Malian bass ngoni player. They adapted Malian tradionals plus a Mahalia Jackson song. All very nice.

curmudgeon, Sunday, 23 February 2014 21:09 (three years ago) Permalink

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