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Featured Releases

  • Released in Kronos Quartet's 40th anniversary year, A Thousand Thoughts is a look at the group's geographically wide-ranging sources, featuring music from 14 different countries, including China, India, Sweden, and Vietnam. The album includes the four cellists who have been in Kronos Quartet over the last 36 years. Ten of the album’s 15 pieces are previously unreleased. Songlines gives it five stars, calling Kronos "one of the musical marvels of our age."

  • This comprehensive set marks the first 25 years of the ever-evolving Kronos Quartet. This retrospective, decided the New York Times, "does an impressive job of documenting the group's history while also doing justice to a wide range of musical styles of the last quarter of the 20th century."

  • Kronos plays works created between 1966 and 1989 by the former Soviet Union’s leading composer, Alfred Schnittke. The group, says the New York Times, “has delivered a performance in which every phrase is filled with profound and resonant meaning.”

  • Kronos juxtaposes work created as far back as the ninth century with modern, minimalist pieces. By its conclusion, notes the New York Times, “the distinctions between old and new are blurred, and the effect is comforting rather than disconcerting.”

  • Chinese composer Tan Dun melds Eastern and Western influences and explores spiritual themes in this five-movement piece for string quartet and pipa, featuring pipa virtuoso Wu Man. The Los Angeles Times calls it a “broad-minded, culture-bending opus.”

  • Composer Osvaldo Golijov calls his piece, featuring clarinetist David Krakauer alongside Kronos, "a kind of epic, a history of Judaism." The Boston Globe praised it as spiritual, earthly—and earthy: “It is music of prayer, celebration, mysticism, and practicality.”

  • These pieces incorporate the recorded/sampled voices of politically charged figures Allen Ginsberg, J. Edgar Hoover, and I.F. Stone. The Chicago Sun-Times says Howl, U.S.A. is “adventurous and provocative and dances on the edge of a whole new form.”

  • This two-disc set offers highlights from Kronos Quartet’s first decade on Nonesuch. The “supercharged group of musical pioneers” (Los Angeles Times) displays astonishing stylistic breadth, interpreting work by composers ranging from Terry Riley to Jimi Hendrix, Raymond Scott to Steve Reich.

  • Among these four performances is Quartet No. 5, the first piece Glass wrote especially for Kronos. “It contains some of Mr. Glass's best music since Koyaanisqatsi,” says the New York Times. “His ear for sumptuous string sonorities is undeniable.”

  • Composers from Eastern Europe / Central Asia offer work reflecting upon Jewish, Islamic, and Christian spiritual traditions. Guests include Dawn Upshaw, Djivan Gasparian, and the Throat Singers of Tuva. The seven tracks, says the Washington Post, “make a cohesive, contemplative whole.”

  • Political activist / sound experimentalist / composer Bob Ostertag addresses the AIDS crisis in his collage piece, with documentary-style text and taped samples from a San Francisco riot over gay rights. The New York Times called it “a devastating roar of gay anger.”