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Featured Releases

  • Kronos Quartet and its artistic director/founding violinist David Harrington have long been known as interpreters of music from around the world, expanding the string quartet repertoire with works from across genres. Released in honor of the group's 40th anniversary year, Kronos Explorer Series comprises five classic albums from five different parts of the world—Pieces of Africa, Night Prayers, Caravan, Nuevo, and Floodplain—with new liner notes that include an in-depth interview of Harrington by renowned author Jonathan Cott. The Independent calls the set "extraordinary."

  • Kronos showcases the work—and features the piano playing—of Azerbaijani composer Franghiz Ali-Zadeh. The Boston Herald calls it “utterly absorbing,” “a rich addition to the Kronos discography,” and “a marvelous introduction for many to Ali-Zadeh's music,” which, says David Harrington, “gives us exquisite interior worlds of instrumental color."

  • This 2003 Grammy winner for Best Chamber Music Performance, written in 1926 by Austrian Alban Berg, chronicles the married composer’s brief, secret love affair. The Kronos performance, featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw, restores a long-lost vocal portion to the piece.

  • Latvian composer Peteris Vasks’s specially commissioned five-movement piece reflects upon the passing 20th century. “There has been so much bloodshed and destruction,” Vasks explains, “and yet love’s power and idealism have helped to keep the world in balance.”

  • Kronos performs Ben Johnston’s arrangement of “Hobo composer” Harry Partch’s musical travelogue, recounting a 1941 rail-jumping journey across country. Partch, says the New York Times, “was new during his time, and his music still sounds like no one else’s.”

  • Kronos takes a wild ride through 20th-century Mexican music, incorporating traditional and popular tunes, TV themes, even Esquivel’s space-age lounge sounds. The Quartet, says The Independent (UK), captures “a Mexican-style ethos of ingenuity, humor, spirituality, and infinite variety.”

  • Kronos Quartet, overdubbed to three times its size, performs the title piece. The Boston Phoenix noted that Triple Quartet illustrates Reich’s “penchant for maximizing melody as well as the advantages of employing technology to widen the instrumental palette.”

  • Kronos performs Terry Riley’s elegies to lost friends. The “deeply personal” title piece, says Riley, composed in memory of David Harrington’s son Adam, is “a way of coming to terms with loss, a step in coping with grief.”

  • This performance of Clint Mansell’s score is as haunting and harrowing as Darren Aronofsky’s film, which the New York Times called “a knockout.” A suite derived from the score has become a popular addition to the Kronos live repertoire.

  • Kronos traces the flow of music from Northeastern Europe to the Mediterranean to Asia and back, using contemporary work to illustrate ancient traditions. Billboard declares, “Kronos Quartet continues to amaze with its conceptual acuity and cultural breadth.”

  • Kronos Quartet performs Glass's new original score for Tod Browning's classic 1931 Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi. "Glass's music doesn't scream," says the Boston Herald. "It sobs—and hits the heart as directly as, well, that vampire-destroying wooden stake." This recording is no longer available from Nonesuch Records.