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  • Tuesday, January 10, 2012
    Kronos Quartet's "Music of Vladimir Martynov" Out Now with Former Kronos Cellist Joan Jeanrenaud As Special Guest

    Kronos Quartet’s latest Nonesuch album, Music of Vladimir Martynov, is out today. 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.” You can hear preview clips of each piece below.

    To pick up a copy of Music of Vladimir Martynov, head to the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders include high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s of the album.

    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 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. She will join them for a performance of Schubert–Quintet (Unfinished) on February 28 at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall.

    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.”

    Listen to excerpts from Music of Vladimir Martynov below, then head to the Nonesuch Store to take home a copy of the album today:

    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.

    See below for all of the currently scheduled Kronos Quartet performances, including three shows in London this month as part of the Quartet's week-long residency of concerts and creative learning events at the Barbican. For additional information on all the events listed here, go to nonesuch.com/on-tour.

    KRONOS QUARTET IN CONCERT

    Jan 12 Serbian National Theater Novi Sad, SERBIA
    Jan 15 Klub Zak Gdansk, POLAND
    Jan 18 Cité de la musique Paris, FRANCE
    Jan 19 Salle Jean-Cocteau Clermont-Ferrand, FRANCE
    Jan 24 Hackney Empire London, UNITED KINGDOM
    Jan 26 Barbican Hall London, UNITED KINGDOM
    Jan 27 Wilton's Music Hall London, UNITED KINGDOM

    Jan 29 (Le) Poisson Rouge* New York, NY
    Feb 5 Hertz Hall, Cal Performances Berkeley, CA
    Feb 12 Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Stanford University Stanford, CA
    Feb 15 Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Urbana, IL
    Feb 17 Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, Emory University Atlanta, GA
    Feb 18 Dekelboum Concert Hall, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center College Park, MD
    Feb 22&23 Kogod Theatre, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center College Park, MD
    Feb 25 Shea Center for the Performing Arts, William Paterson University Wayne, NJ
    Feb 28 Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall** New York, NY
    Mar 3 Roy Thomson Hall Toronto, ON
    Mar 11 Walt Disney Concert Hall Los Angeles, CA
    Mar 15-17 Forum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts San Francisco, CA
    Mar 21 Kaul Auditorium, Reed College Portland, OR
    Mar 23 Neptune Theatre, Seattle Theatre Group Seattle, WA
    Apr 12 Campbell Hall, UCSB Santa Barbara, CA
    Apr 24 Van Duzer Theatre, Humboldt State University Arcata, CA
    May 11&12 Novellus Theater San Francisco, CA

    May 18 Grote Zaal, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS
    May 19 Jurriaanse Zaal, De Doelen Rotterdam, NETHERLANDS
    May 21&22 Cité de la musique*** Paris, FRANCE
    May 23 MC2*** Grenoble, FRANCE
    May 25 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall*** Glasgow, UNITED KINGDOM
    May 27 Wales Millennium Centre*** Cardiff, UNITED KINGDOM
    May 29 Birmingham Symphony Hall*** Birmingham, UNITED KINGDOM

    * free Philip Glass 75th birthday concert
    ** w/ Joan Jeanrenaud: NY Premieres of works by Vladimir Martynov, Nicole Lizée, and Donnacha Dennehy
    *** w/ Philip Glass: Dracula the music and film

    Journal Articles:Artist News

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Kronos Quartet's "Music of Vladimir Martynov" Out Now with Former Kronos Cellist Joan Jeanrenaud As Special Guest

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on January 10, 2012 - 10:48am
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - 14:30
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Kronos Quartet’s latest Nonesuch album, Music of Vladimir Martynov, is out today. The album includes three works written or rescored for Kronos by the contemporary Russian composer Vladimir Martynov—The Beatitudes, Schubert–Quintet (Unfinished), and Der Abschied—and features a special guest performance from former Kronos cellist Joan Jeanrenaud. 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." Hear preview clips of each piece here.

Copy: 

Kronos Quartet’s latest Nonesuch album, Music of Vladimir Martynov, is out today. 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.” You can hear preview clips of each piece below.

To pick up a copy of Music of Vladimir Martynov, head to the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders include high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s of the album.

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 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. She will join them for a performance of Schubert–Quintet (Unfinished) on February 28 at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall.

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.”

Listen to excerpts from Music of Vladimir Martynov below, then head to the Nonesuch Store to take home a copy of the album today:

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.

See below for all of the currently scheduled Kronos Quartet performances, including three shows in London this month as part of the Quartet's week-long residency of concerts and creative learning events at the Barbican. For additional information on all the events listed here, go to nonesuch.com/on-tour.

KRONOS QUARTET IN CONCERT

Jan 12 Serbian National Theater Novi Sad, SERBIA
Jan 15 Klub Zak Gdansk, POLAND
Jan 18 Cité de la musique Paris, FRANCE
Jan 19 Salle Jean-Cocteau Clermont-Ferrand, FRANCE
Jan 24 Hackney Empire London, UNITED KINGDOM
Jan 26 Barbican Hall London, UNITED KINGDOM
Jan 27 Wilton's Music Hall London, UNITED KINGDOM

Jan 29 (Le) Poisson Rouge* New York, NY
Feb 5 Hertz Hall, Cal Performances Berkeley, CA
Feb 12 Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Stanford University Stanford, CA
Feb 15 Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Urbana, IL
Feb 17 Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, Emory University Atlanta, GA
Feb 18 Dekelboum Concert Hall, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center College Park, MD
Feb 22&23 Kogod Theatre, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center College Park, MD
Feb 25 Shea Center for the Performing Arts, William Paterson University Wayne, NJ
Feb 28 Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall** New York, NY
Mar 3 Roy Thomson Hall Toronto, ON
Mar 11 Walt Disney Concert Hall Los Angeles, CA
Mar 15-17 Forum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts San Francisco, CA
Mar 21 Kaul Auditorium, Reed College Portland, OR
Mar 23 Neptune Theatre, Seattle Theatre Group Seattle, WA
Apr 12 Campbell Hall, UCSB Santa Barbara, CA
Apr 24 Van Duzer Theatre, Humboldt State University Arcata, CA
May 11&12 Novellus Theater San Francisco, CA

May 18 Grote Zaal, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS
May 19 Jurriaanse Zaal, De Doelen Rotterdam, NETHERLANDS
May 21&22 Cité de la musique*** Paris, FRANCE
May 23 MC2*** Grenoble, FRANCE
May 25 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall*** Glasgow, UNITED KINGDOM
May 27 Wales Millennium Centre*** Cardiff, UNITED KINGDOM
May 29 Birmingham Symphony Hall*** Birmingham, UNITED KINGDOM

* free Philip Glass 75th birthday concert
** w/ Joan Jeanrenaud: NY Premieres of works by Vladimir Martynov, Nicole Lizée, and Donnacha Dennehy
*** w/ Philip Glass: Dracula the music and film

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Kronos Quartet: "Music of Vladimir Martynov" [cover]

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