Plays Sigur Rós (MP3s)

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Release Date
DescriptionExcerpt

Kronos performs a Stephen Prutsman arrangement of the Sigur Rós piece "Flugufrelsarinn," from the Icelandic quartet's breakthrough album, Ágætis Byrjun. This contemplative track is paired with the more raucous Kronos interpretation of "The Star Spangled Banner," in a Prutsman arrangement that channels Jimi Hendrix.

Description

The two pieces included on Kronos Quartet Plays Sigur Rós have both been staples of Kronos’ live concerts for several years: an arrangement of Icelandic experimental rock group Sigur Rós’s “Flugufrelsarinn” (“The Fly Freer”) and an arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“I first heard Sigur Rós in 2000 and it was thrilling,” said David Harrington, Kronos founder and artistic director.  “I could not stop listening to them.  Kronos had to play their music. Sigur Rós create entire universes with their sound: imaginary places populated by desires and colors and feelings that belong solely to the fleetingly understood realm of music.”

Kronos commissioned an arrangement of Sigur Rós' composition “Flugufrelsarinn” (Icelandic for “The Fly Freer”), from the Ágætis Byrjun album in 2002.  In its original, sung version, “Flugufrelsarinn” relates a parable of salvation and sacrifice, in which an unnamed narrator tries to rescue helpless flies in a lake from the jaws of the approaching salmon. In Stephen Prutsman’s arrangement for Kronos, the work takes on a new delicacy while losing none of its essential mystery.

The Quartet has been playing its Prutsman/Kronos version of “The Star-Spangled Banner”—inspired by Jimi Hendrix’s famous Woodstock interpretation—in concert since 2003. The Los Angeles Times called a recent performance of the piece, “a fiery political protest that recalled [Kronos’] roots exploring classic rock.” Although it has always been an audience favorite, the group had never released a recording of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before this digital-only release.

Nonesuch Selection Number

307452

Number of Discs in Set
1disc
ns_album_artistid
67
ns_album_id
675
ns_album_releasedate
ns_genre_1
0
ns_genre_2
0
Album Status
Artist Name
Kronos Quartet
Cover Art
UPC/Price
Label
MP3
Price
2.00
UPC
075597996142
  • 307452

News & Reviews

  • As part of Kronos: Five Decades, the year-long celebration of Kronos Quartet’s 50th anniversary, the group is publishing five decade-spanning playlists curated by its founder and violinist David Harrington. The fifth and final playlist, featuring music Kronos performed in its fifth decade, 2013–2022, is out now. It includes music from their album A Thousand Thoughts; Folk Songs, with vocals by Sam Amidon, Olivia Chaney, Natalie Merchant, and Rhiannon Giddens; their Grammy-winning collaboration with Laurie Anderson, Landfall; and Terry Riley's Sun Rings. You can hear it here.

  • Kronos Quartet’s award-winning 1990 album Black Angels is now available on vinyl to coincide with Kronos Quartet: Five Decades, a year-long celebration of the quartet’s 50th anniversary, and Nonesuch Records' 60th anniversary. First released in 1990, the album features George Crumb’s title piece, which inspired David Harrington to found the quartet in 1973, and works by Charles Ives, István Márta, Thomas Tallis, and Dmitri Shostakovich. The fourth side of the vinyl is an etching of an illustration created especially for this purpose by Matt Mahurin, whose work is featured on the original album cover. The Evening Standard included Black Angels among its “100 Definitive Classical Albums of the 20th Century.”

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  • About This Album

    The two pieces included on Kronos Quartet Plays Sigur Rós have both been staples of Kronos’ live concerts for several years: an arrangement of Icelandic experimental rock group Sigur Rós’s “Flugufrelsarinn” (“The Fly Freer”) and an arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

    “I first heard Sigur Rós in 2000 and it was thrilling,” said David Harrington, Kronos founder and artistic director.  “I could not stop listening to them.  Kronos had to play their music. Sigur Rós create entire universes with their sound: imaginary places populated by desires and colors and feelings that belong solely to the fleetingly understood realm of music.”

    Kronos commissioned an arrangement of Sigur Rós' composition “Flugufrelsarinn” (Icelandic for “The Fly Freer”), from the Ágætis Byrjun album in 2002.  In its original, sung version, “Flugufrelsarinn” relates a parable of salvation and sacrifice, in which an unnamed narrator tries to rescue helpless flies in a lake from the jaws of the approaching salmon. In Stephen Prutsman’s arrangement for Kronos, the work takes on a new delicacy while losing none of its essential mystery.

    The Quartet has been playing its Prutsman/Kronos version of “The Star-Spangled Banner”—inspired by Jimi Hendrix’s famous Woodstock interpretation—in concert since 2003. The Los Angeles Times called a recent performance of the piece, “a fiery political protest that recalled [Kronos’] roots exploring classic rock.” Although it has always been an audience favorite, the group had never released a recording of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before this digital-only release.

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