Kronos Quartet: A Thousand Thoughts
Kronos Quartet and its artistic director/founding violinist David Harrington have long been known as interpreters of music from around the world, expanding the string quartet repertoire with works from across genres. Nonesuch, the Quartet's long time label, celebrates this remarkable curiosity in the group's 40th anniversary year with two releases: the Kronos Explorer Series five-CD box set, which will be available on May 5, and a new album, A Thousand Thoughts.
A Thousand Thoughts is a look at Kronos' geographically wide-ranging sources. It features music from 14 different countries, including China, India, Sweden, and Vietnam. The album includes the four cellists who have been in Kronos Quartet over the last 36 years: Joan Jeanrenaud (1978-1999), Jennifer Culp (1999-2005), Jeffrey Zeigler (2005-2013), and Sunny Yang (2013-present). Ten of the album's 15 pieces are previously unreleased.
For 40 years, the Kronos Quartet—David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello)—has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of exploration with a commitment to continually re-imagining the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 50 recordings, collaborating with many of the world's most accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning more than 800 works and arrangements for string quartet. In 2011, Kronos became the only recipients of both the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize, two of the most prestigious awards given to musicians. The group's numerous awards also include a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance (2004) and Musicians of the Year (2003) from Musical America.
Kronos continues its anniversary celebrations with a ‘Kronos at 40’ concert at the Barbican, London on May 13. The group will also perform during the Barbican's Explorations: The Sound of Nonesuch Records marathon weekend (May 17 and 18), which celebrates the label in its 50th anniversary year.
A Thousand Thoughts: Kronos Quartet
1. Tusen Tankar (Traditional (Sweden), arr. Kronos, tr. Ljova)
2. Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground (Blind Willie Johnson, arr. Stephen Prutsman)
3. La Sidounak Sayyada (Omar Souleyman, arr. Jacob Garchik)
4. Lưu thủy trường (Traditional (Vietnam)/Kim Sinh, arr. J. Garchik)
5. Aha Gèdawo (Gétatchèw Mèkurya, arr. S. Prutsman)
6. An Buachaillín Bán (Traditional (Ireland), arr. Tony MacMahon and S. Prutsman)
7. The Round Sun and Crescent Moon in the Sky (Traditional (China), arr. J. Garchik)
8. Eviç Taksim (Tanburi Cemil Bey, arr. S. Prutsman)
9. Rangin Kaman (excerpt) (Homayun Sakhi, arr. S. Prutsman)
10. Smyrneiko Minore (Traditional (Greece), arr. J. Garchik)
11. Cry of a Lady (Terry Riley)
12 Sim Sholom (Alter Yechiel Karniol, arr. Judith Berkson)
13 Mera Kuchh Saaman (Rahul Dev Burman, arr. David Harrington, tr. Ljova)
14. Asleep from Five Tango Sensations (Astor Piazzolla)
15 Danny Boy (Traditional, arr. Dana Brayton)