News & Reviews
- Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Lincoln Center Out of Doors to Feature Kronos at 40, Kronos Quartet "Festival Within a Festival," Starting July 24
The schedule for this summer’s Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival has been announced. Featured among its 100 free performances in the plazas of NYC's Lincoln Center is Kronos at 40, curated in collaboration with Kronos Quartet to mark its 40th anniversary. This five-day "festival within a festival" launches the larger festival on July 24 and includes 28 concerts and events with daily appearances by Kronos plus performances by other artists. Kronos Quartet performs at Carnegie Hall this Friday, May 3, and will receive an honorary degree from Seattle's Cornish College of the Arts later this month.
- Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Cal Performances 2013–14 Season to Include Kronos Quartet, Joshua Redman, Richard Goode; Jeremy Denk to Curate Ojai North!
Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley, has announced its 2013–14 concert season, which will feature performances from a number of Nonesuch artists: Kronos Quartet, which celebrates its 40th anniversary with two concerts at Zellerbach Hall; Joshua Redman, whose Quartet performs songs from his new album, Walking Shadows; and Richard Goode, performing music by Janáček, Schubert, and Debussy. Additionally, Cal Performances and the Ojai Music Festival present Ojai North!, of which pianist Jeremy Denk is this season's music director.
About this Album
Nonesuch Records releases Kronos Quartet’s Music of Vladimir Martynov on January 10, 2012. The album includes three works written or rescored for Kronos by the contemporary Russian composer Vladimir Martynov: The Beatitudes (1998, rescored for Kronos, 2006), Schubert–Quintet (Unfinished) (2009), and Der Abschied (2006). Kronos’ artistic director and founder David Harrington says Martynov’s music “straddles various points of musical history and time; the music seems to me to reflect and absorb humanity in such a beautiful way.”
Born in Moscow in 1946, Martynov was the son of a well-known musicologist and writer. He studied music from a young age and attended the Conservatory before expanding his musical pursuits beyond the traditional classical canon and into folk songs, early music, avant-garde, rock, and electronic music. In 1979, he entered the Spiritual Academy at the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, where he worked on preserving and restoring traditional Russian Orthodox chant. He returned to composition in the 1990s with a new style that combined the traditions of American minimalism with the repetitive chant of Russian Orthodoxy.
As Greg Dubinsky writes in the liner notes, Martynov explores the “perspective of the Orthodox Church’s hermetic, ascetic tradition of insight and ecstasy achieved through ceaseless prayer ... In this uninterrupted circular motion, time lacks beginning or end. Through the insistent repetition of a single formula, the mind blocks out the external world ... His goal is to create a music that maintains this pose of enraptured contemplation for as long as possible.” Kronos Quartet has commissioned five works from Martynov, three of which are on this new album.
Kronos requested the arrangement of The Beatitudes (originally written as a choral piece) to close its live-performance program Awakening, which reflects on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Harrington calls the piece “one of the great works of faith in our repertoire.”
Schubert–Quintet (Unfinished) draws from Schubert’s String Quartet in C Major, using its instrumentation of double cellos, which fulfilled Kronos’ request for a piece reuniting them with former Kronos cellist Joan Jeanrenaud. The Quartet’s cellist for 20 years beginning in 1978, Jeanrenaud had not played with the group since 1998 before this recording.
In Der Abschied (The Farewell), which Martyov wrote as a memorial to his father, the composer uses musical repetition to conjure his late father’s labored last breaths. This piece’s musical “mantra” is from Mahler’s Das Lied Von Der Erde (Songs of the Earth), leading Harrington to call it “the string quartet Mahler never wrote.”
Over the course of nearly four decades, San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet has commissioned 750 new works, performed thousands of concerts worldwide, released more than 50 recordings, and collaborated with dozens of artists. Working with composers from nearly every corner of the globe, Kronos has created a new repertoire for string quartet. A non-profit organization, the Kronos Quartet/Kronos Performing Arts Association is committed to mentoring emerging musicians and composers and to creating and performing new works, devoting five months of each year to touring. In 2011, the Quartet received two prestigious international honors: the Avery Fisher Prize in New York and the Polar Music Prize in Stockholm, Sweden. No other musician or ensemble has ever won both prizes, let alone in a single year. The Kronos Quartet members are David Harrington and John Sherba, violin; Hank Dutt, viola; and Jeffrey Zeigler, cello.
David Harrington, violin
John Sherba, violin
Hank Dutt, viola
Jeffrey Zeigler, cello
with special guest
Joan Jeanrenaud, cello (tracks 2, 3)
Produced by Judith Sherman
Recorded December 13–16, 2010, at Skywalker Sound, Nicasio, CA
Engineered by Leslie Ann Jones
Assistant engineer: Dann Thompson
Editing Assistant: Jeanne Velonis
Mastered by Robert C. Ludwig at Gateway Mastering, Portland, ME
Design by Evan Gaffney
Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz
Schubert-Quintet (Unfinished) was commissioned for the Kronos Quartet and Joan Jeanrenaud by Cal Performances and the Kronos Performing Arts Association.
Der Abschied (The Farewell) was commissioned for the Kronos Quartet by the Settimane Musicali Gustav Mahler Festival.
All compositions published by Vladimir Martynov, administered by RAO.