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Górecki: String Quartet No. 3 ("... songs are sung")

  • 104380

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  • Kronos Quartet released its Nonesuch Records debut album 30 years ago today, August 15, 1986. The self-titled album includes works by Peter Sculthorpe, Aulis Sallinen, Philip Glass, Conlon Nancarrow, and Jimi Hendrix. The Washington Post praised the group's "breadth of vision" throughout a collection "devoted to some of the most imaginative music of our time." The New York Times called it "the best recorded anthology yet to capture the heady diversity of musical idioms that this San Francisco quartet espouses."

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  • About This Album

    The CD of this album is available to purchase at ArkivMusic.

    On March 20, 2007, Nonesuch Records releases …songs are sung, the Kronos Quartet’s recording of Henryk Mikolaj Górecki’s long-awaited Third String Quartet. In 1992, after having commissioned, premiered, and recorded the Polish composer’s first two string quartets, Kronos asked him for a third. After persuasive exchanges with Kronos’ founder and artistic director, David Harrington, Górecki agreed, and the world premiere performance was scheduled for the group’s solo debut at Carnegie Hall in 1994. But the piece never arrived.

    In Spring 2005, after thirteen years of persistence, patience, and cancelled performances, the Kronos Quartet and Górecki’s publisher Boosey & Hawkes finally received the score to Henryk Górecki’s Pieśni Śpiewają (“…songs are sung”), String Quartet No. 3, Op. 67—a 50-minute magnum opus with the dedication, “To the Kronos Quartet, which for so many years has waited patiently for this quartet.” In a commentary attached to the score, Górecki added that the work had been completed in 1995, “but I continued to hold back from releasing it to the world. I don’t know why.”

    The world premiere performance of Pieśni Śpiewają (“…songs are sung”) was given by Kronos in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, on October 15, 2005; the long-delayed Carnegie Hall performance finally took place on March 24, 2006, and was the work’s U.S. premiere. Pieśni Śpiewają (“…songs are sung”) was commissioned for Kronos by The Carnegie Hall Corporation, the Angel Stoyanof Commission Fund, and the Kosciusko Foundation. The quartet’s title is inspired by the last line of a poem by the Russian poet Velimir Khlebnikov, “When people die, they sing songs.” The release of the album marks a two-decade relationship between Górecki and the Kronos Quartet, which began with Already It Is Dusk, String Quartet No. 1, Op. 62, composed for Kronos and completed in 1988. Quasi una fantasia, String Quartet No. 2, Op. 64, also was written for the group, in 1990/91. Recordings of both pieces are available on Nonesuch, Górecki String Quartets 1, 2.

    In a personal letter from Harrington to Górecki, written after the U.S. premiere performance, Harrington said, “Without any question, ‘…songs are sung,’ for me, is one of the most lyrical, poignant and far-reaching works ever written for string quartet that I am aware of. This music consoles as it faces, unflinchingly, the deepest aspects of life. It is music so personal that in its performance one feels the audience listening in to one’s very own soul and life.”

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Kronos Quartet:
    David Harrington, violin
    John Sherba, violin
    Hank Dutt, viola
    Jeffrey Zeigler, cello

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Produced by Judith Sherman
    Recorded August 1–3, 2006, at Skywalker Sound, Nicasio, CA
    Engineered by Leslie Ann Jones
    Assistant engineer: Dann Thompson
    Editing assistant: Jeanne Velonis
    Mastered by Robert Ludwig, Gateway Mastering & DVD, Portland, ME

    Art direction and design by Frank Olinsky
    Cover photograph by Keith Carter

    Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

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on May 29, 2008 - 7:14pm
Artist Name: 
Henryk Górecki
Kronos Quartet
genre: 
Release Date: 
Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 04:00
DescriptionExcerpt: 

Kronos waited a decade for Henryk Górecki, who garnered a worldwide audience with his Third Symphony, to complete this mournful, meditative work. The Quartet’s David Harrington says, “This music consoles as it faces, unflinchingly, the deepest aspects of life.”

Description: 

The CD of this album is available to purchase at ArkivMusic.

On March 20, 2007, Nonesuch Records releases …songs are sung, the Kronos Quartet’s recording of Henryk Mikolaj Górecki’s long-awaited Third String Quartet. In 1992, after having commissioned, premiered, and recorded the Polish composer’s first two string quartets, Kronos asked him for a third. After persuasive exchanges with Kronos’ founder and artistic director, David Harrington, Górecki agreed, and the world premiere performance was scheduled for the group’s solo debut at Carnegie Hall in 1994. But the piece never arrived.

In Spring 2005, after thirteen years of persistence, patience, and cancelled performances, the Kronos Quartet and Górecki’s publisher Boosey & Hawkes finally received the score to Henryk Górecki’s Pieśni Śpiewają (“…songs are sung”), String Quartet No. 3, Op. 67—a 50-minute magnum opus with the dedication, “To the Kronos Quartet, which for so many years has waited patiently for this quartet.” In a commentary attached to the score, Górecki added that the work had been completed in 1995, “but I continued to hold back from releasing it to the world. I don’t know why.”

The world premiere performance of Pieśni Śpiewają (“…songs are sung”) was given by Kronos in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, on October 15, 2005; the long-delayed Carnegie Hall performance finally took place on March 24, 2006, and was the work’s U.S. premiere. Pieśni Śpiewają (“…songs are sung”) was commissioned for Kronos by The Carnegie Hall Corporation, the Angel Stoyanof Commission Fund, and the Kosciusko Foundation. The quartet’s title is inspired by the last line of a poem by the Russian poet Velimir Khlebnikov, “When people die, they sing songs.” The release of the album marks a two-decade relationship between Górecki and the Kronos Quartet, which began with Already It Is Dusk, String Quartet No. 1, Op. 62, composed for Kronos and completed in 1988. Quasi una fantasia, String Quartet No. 2, Op. 64, also was written for the group, in 1990/91. Recordings of both pieces are available on Nonesuch, Górecki String Quartets 1, 2.

In a personal letter from Harrington to Górecki, written after the U.S. premiere performance, Harrington said, “Without any question, ‘…songs are sung,’ for me, is one of the most lyrical, poignant and far-reaching works ever written for string quartet that I am aware of. This music consoles as it faces, unflinchingly, the deepest aspects of life. It is music so personal that in its performance one feels the audience listening in to one’s very own soul and life.”

ProductionCredits: 

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced by Judith Sherman
Recorded August 1–3, 2006, at Skywalker Sound, Nicasio, CA
Engineered by Leslie Ann Jones
Assistant engineer: Dann Thompson
Editing assistant: Jeanne Velonis
Mastered by Robert Ludwig, Gateway Mastering & DVD, Portland, ME

Art direction and design by Frank Olinsky
Cover photograph by Keith Carter

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

104380

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
ns_album_artistid: 
67
ns_album_id: 
658
ns_album_releasedate: 
Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 04:00
ns_genre_1: 
0
ns_genre_2: 
0
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597999334BUN
Price: 
0.00
Label: 
MP3
UPC: 
075597999327
Price: 
10.00
MusicianDetails: 

MUSICIANS
Kronos Quartet:
David Harrington, violin
John Sherba, violin
Hank Dutt, viola
Jeffrey Zeigler, cello

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