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Plays Sigur Rós (MP3s)

Plays Sigur Rós (MP3s) cover art
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Track Listing

Click tracks with speaker icon to listen
1Flugufrelsarinn (Sigur Rós, arr. S. Prutsman)8:22
2The Star-Spangled Banner (Trad., arr. S. Prutsman after Jimi Hendrix)3:41

News & Reviews

  • Watch: Kronos Quartet Celebrates 40th Anniversary at WQXR's The Greene Space in New York

    Nonesuch Records marked Kronos Quartet's 40th anniversary year with two releases this month: the Kronos Explorer Series five-CD box set and a new album, A Thousand Thoughts. As a highlight of its anniversary season, Kronos was in NYC to perform at Carnegie Hall late last month and was the subject of a marathon stream of music and tributes on Q2 Music, the online new-music station from WQXR. The event culminated in a live, performance by Kronos Quartet from The Greene Space at WQXR, which you can watch here.

  • "Kronos Explorer Series" Box Set & "A Thousand Thoughts" Out Now on Nonesuch Records

    Nonesuch celebrates Kronos Quartet, long known as interpreters of music from around the world, in its 40th anniversary year with two releases: Kronos Explorer Series, a box set of five classic albums from five different parts of the world, and A Thousand Thoughts, a new album that looks at Kronos’s geographically wide-ranging sources, featuring music from 14 different countries. Both are out today in North America (international release April 21). Kronos continues its anniversary celebration at the Switchboard Music Festival in its hometown of San Francisco this Saturday.

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.

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