Steve Reich and Kronos Quartet are in the midst of their artist residency at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, which will culminate in the world premiere of Reich's latest work, WTC 9/11, on Saturday. Reich wrote the piece for Kronos, as he has his two previous quartets, which are also on Saturday's program. While Kronos may be a string quartet, "they are also like a rock group," Reich tells the Duke Chronicle, "and that’s an incredible accomplishment."
Steve Reich and Kronos Quartet are in the midst of a three-day artist residency at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, which will culminate in the world premiere of Reich's latest work, WTC 9/11, at Duke's Page Auditorium on Saturday. Reich wrote the new piece for Kronos. Saturday's all-Reich concert program also includes the composer's two other works for string quartet, Triple Quartet and Different Trains, both of which were also written for Kronos, plus music from The Cave, Reich's 1993 collaboration with video artist Beryl Korot.
WTC 9/11 integrates a live quartet performance, quartets on tape, and pre-recorded voices of the air traffic controllers, firemen, and survivors of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Presented in three movements, the piece also incorporates recordings of liturgical chanting from the Jewish tradition of Shmira, a religious practice to guard the soul of a recently deceased body from the time of death to burial.
The Duke residency began with a conversation between Reich and Kronos artistic director David Harrington at Durham's Pinhook Bar yesterday and continues with two additional free, public events leading up to the concert: a discussion with the composer about his Pulitzer Prize-winning piece Double Sextet on Duke's East Campus today at noon and an open rehearsal and discussion of Duke Ph.D candidate David K. Garner's new piece for Kronos at Duke Coffeehouse in Crowell Hall.
Reich spoke about the new piece and his long working relationship with Kronos with Durham's Independent Weekly and also with the Duke Chronicle. “They have become a string quartet, which is one of the oldest and most traditional of western musical vehicles, and they are also like a rock group, and that’s an incredible accomplishment,” Reich tells the Chronicle. “David Harrington’s intensity of dedication to every project the Kronos Quartet gets involved in is a force to be contended with.” Read more at dukechronicle.com.
Kronos Quartet will give the New York premiere of WTC 9/11 at Carnegie Hall on April 30 and the European premiere at Barbican Hall on May 7, both as part of larger celebrations of the composer's music on the occasion of his 75th birthday year. For more information, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.
To peruse the complete Steve Reich and Kronos Quartet Nonesuch catalogs, head to the Nonesuch Store, where almost all CD orders include high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s of the album at checkout.