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  • 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."

  • Morton Feldman composed this meditative 79-minute piece for Kronos and Japanese pianist Aki Takahashi. The Los Angeles Times declared it “a classic in the modern chamber repertory.” The Chicago Tribune hailed the performers' “miraculous control, dedication, and concentration.”

  • Works from Austrian composers Alban Berg and Anton Webern are prefaced by “a rare Liszt miniature” that, says the Chicago Tribune, reveals the Quartet's goal: to “convey the influence of Wagner down to the pupils of Arnold Schoenberg.”

  • Kronos Quartet performs Górecki's fist two string quartets for an album Time describes as “sanguine in its magisterial technique and confident in its calm, unmannered directness of expression.” Both pieces were commissioned by Lincoln Center and dedicated to Kronos, marking a renewal of the composer’s interest in instrumental music during a decade of writing mainly for the voice.

  • Kronos Quartet “plays with its characteristic intensity,” says Rolling Stone, on this adventurous, globe-spanning set, which gathers pieces from Lower East Siders Elliot Sharp and John Zorn, Russia's Sofia Gubaidulina, Pakistani singer Pandit Pran Nath, and Chicago bluesman Willie Dixon, among others.

  • This “potent new brew of folk influences, Minimalism, and European forms by eight black, brown, and white African composers,” as Time described it, became a cross-cultural and commercial landmark: the first album to top both the classical and world music Billboard charts.

  • Argentine legend Piazzolla composed this work especially for Kronos. The result, says the New York Times, is a “set of charmingly melodic tangos in which the group supplied an accompaniment to the composer’s urbane performances on the accordion-like bandoneon.”

  • Kronos returns to the work of South African composer Kevin Volans. This piece, notes the New York Times, “moves freely among African rhythmic and melodic shapes, contemporary Western harmonies and tone-shaping techniques, and distorted glimpses of Haydnesque Classicism.”

  • The Polish composer Witold Lutosławski designed his 1964 string quartet as a work that invites interpretation and encourages individualized approach. Says the Los Angeles Times, “Kronos conceives the work as a never-slackening exercise in fiery, forthright emotionalism and dramatic intensity.”

  • Composer George Crumb’s title piece, called "an unusually elevated and searing Vietnam War protest" by the New York Times, sets a dark, powerful tone for this collection, which addresses the political/physical/spiritual consequences of war. London’s Evening Standard includes the album among its “100 Definitive Classical CDs of the 20th Century.”

  • Minimalist progenitor Terry Riley wrote this ambitious piece for Kronos. “The Quartet,” says the New York Times, “mingles Asian modes, static drones, Arabic melodic arabesques and non-tempered tunings with dissonant Bartókian counterpoint, bluesy inflections, jazzy syncopations, and Minimalist repetition.”

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