Kronos Quartet's New Album Features "Exquisitely Recorded, Radiant" Performance of Martynov "Masterpiece" (LA Times)
Kronos Quartet's new album, Music of Vladimir Martynov, released last month on Nonesuch Records, includes three works written for Kronos by the contemporary Russian composer Vladimir Martynov—The Beatitudes, Der Abschied, and Schubert-Quintet (Unfinished), which features a special guest performance from former Kronos cellist Joan Jeanrenaud.
In Der Abschied, "Martynov extends the final passages of the last measures of Mahler's symphonic song cycle Das Lied von der Erde to a heavenly length of 40 minutes," writes Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed in a review of the album. "This is Mahler for those who never want one of his most movingly ethereal passages to stop." Swed describes Schubert-Quintet (Unfinished), as "a stirring meditation on Schubert's magnificent Quintet in C" and "a Postmodern, Minimalist masterpiece. The performance, exquisitely recorded, is radiant."
Read the complete album review at latimes.com.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette gives the album an A. Martynov's "compositions are richly melodic, accessible and direct," writes reviewer Ellis Widner; his "work is capable of undeniable sweetness and beauty." Widner cites Schubert-Quintet (Unfinished) as a "hauntingly beautiful work" and "a masterwork," concluding: "This is an album brimming with warmth and emotion, of flesh and spirit, that is romantic and beautifully played."
Read the A review at arkansasonline.com.
The album comes "highly recommended" and earns four-and-a-half stars from All Music.
Martynov's "harmonic vocabulary is characterized by the fecund tonal richness of post-Romanticism without the angst or decadence sometimes associated with the music of that era," explains reviewer Stephen Eddins. The Kronos album opens with a "wrenchingly heartfelt" performance of The Beatitudes, "utterly appropriate for the music," and closes with Der Abschied, which "blossoms into an unabashed hyper-Romanticism of unguarded expressiveness and intense sweetness."
Eddins concludes: "Nonesuch's sound is clean, warmly immediate, and vibrant. Martynov could provide an ideal entryway into contemporary music for listeners open to new works and new ideas, but who tend to be shy of dissonance."
Read the complete review at allmusic.com.
"With over 45 recordings under its proverbial waistcoat these talented players prove over and over again they are worthy of the highest accolades," writes Winnipeg Free Press reviewer Jeff Monk. On Music of Vladimir Martynov, Monk concludes of their latest album, "the Kronos crew deliver a stunning exploration that sends chills."
To pick up a copy of Kronos Quartet's Music of Vladimir Martynov, head to the Nonesuch Store, where orders include high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s of the album at checkout.
Kronos Quartet performs with the Alim Qasimov Ensemble, featured on Kronos's previous Nonesuch release, Floodplain, at Stanford University's Dinkelspiel Auditorium this Sunday. Kronos founder and artistic director David Harrington joins the ensemble for a free discussion and demonstration at Stanford tomorrow night. For more information, go to nonesuch.com/on-tour.