News & Reviews
- Monday, August 12, 2013
Kronos Quartet helped close out the opening day of the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on Friday night with a flourish: first performing with The National (pictured here with Bob Weir, who joined for a song), then returning to the stage for the closing act, Sir Paul McCartney, for his encore, a performance of "Yesterday." Rolling Stone reports the performance "moved virtually every single person in the field, including security guards and food vendors." Watch it here.
- Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Lincoln Center Out of Doors Kicks Off with Kronos at 40, Five-Day Kronos Quartet "Festival Within a Festival"
The 2013 Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival gets under way today, and featured among the festival's 100 free performances taking place across the plazas of New York's Lincoln Center this summer are the events of Kronos at 40, curated in collaboration with Kronos Quartet to mark its 40th anniversary. This "festival within a festival" unfolds during the first five days of the larger festival and includes 28 concerts and events with daily appearances by Kronos plus performances by other artists. Check out the complete schedule of events and watch an interview with Kronos Quartet's David Harrington here.
About this Album
The two pieces included on Kronos Quartet Plays Sigur Rós have both been staples of Kronos’ live concerts for several years: an arrangement of Icelandic experimental rock group Sigur Rós’s “Flugufrelsarinn” (“The Fly Freer”) and an arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“I first heard Sigur Rós in 2000 and it was thrilling,” said David Harrington, Kronos founder and artistic director. “I could not stop listening to them. Kronos had to play their music. Sigur Rós create entire universes with their sound: imaginary places populated by desires and colors and feelings that belong solely to the fleetingly understood realm of music.”Kronos commissioned an arrangement of Sigur Rós' composition “Flugufrelsarinn” (Icelandic for “The Fly Freer”), from the Ágætis Byrjun album in 2002. In its original, sung version, “Flugufrelsarinn” relates a parable of salvation and sacrifice, in which an unnamed narrator tries to rescue helpless flies in a lake from the jaws of the approaching salmon. In Stephen Prutsman’s arrangement for Kronos, the work takes on a new delicacy while losing none of its essential mystery.
The Quartet has been playing its Prutsman/Kronos version of “The Star-Spangled Banner”—inspired by Jimi Hendrix’s famous Woodstock interpretation—in concert since 2003. The Los Angeles Times called a recent performance of the piece, “a fiery political protest that recalled [Kronos’] roots exploring classic rock.” Although it has always been an audience favorite, the group had never released a recording of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before this digital-only release.