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Kronos Quartet - A Thousand Thoughts

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A Thousand Thoughts

Kronos Quartet

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A Thousand Thoughts, whose title comes from the traditional Swedish melody that opens the program, is not a release of new material but a compilation of prior Kronos Quartet performances that draw on international materials. They go back as far as 1989, but the majority come from after 2000, when this aspect of the group's repertoire has become more important. As such, your reaction to them may well depend on whether you think this kind of experiment represents a laudable curiosity or a drive-by approach to world music. Even the detractors, though, would do well to note the following positives. The Kronos Quartet have been highly influential in this regard, as they have in so many others, and it's due to their efforts that it's commonplace nowadays to hear tango music (as you do here) or something similar in a string quartet recital. The Kronos do not simply rely on standards that fit the quartet medium but often feature representatives of the ethnic traditions involved, pushing themselves a bit to enter into exotic sound worlds. (Especially successful in this regard is the concluding version of "Danny Boy," sung by the late Texas country singer and yodeler Don Walser, the so-called Pavarotti of the Plains; this version was available on one of Walser's albums, but is not exactly a common item.) The sound engineering associated with the Kronos has always been high-class, and this collection of live and studio tracks recorded over almost a 25-year period holds together as a unit quite well. Likewise, the quartet itself has maintained a consistent sound over the several changes in personnel represented here. This has the potential to serve as a good sampler for those interested in the ethnomusicological side of contemporary chamber music. ~ James Manheim

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A Thousand Thoughts

Kronos Quartet

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1
Tusen Tankar 00:04:28

Kronos Quartet, MainArtist - Traditional, Composer

2014 Nonesuch Records 2014 Nonesuch Records Inc.

2
Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground 00:03:52

Kronos Quartet, MainArtist - Blind Willie Johnson, Composer

2014 Nonesuch Records 2014 Kronos Performing Arts Association

3
La Sidounak Sayyada 00:04:27

Kronos Quartet, MainArtist - Omar Souleyman, Composer

2014 Nonesuch Records 2014 Nonesuch Records Inc.

4
Luu Thuy Truong 00:04:31

Kronos Quartet, MainArtist - Traditional, Composer - Kim Sinh, Composer

2014 Nonesuch Records 2014 Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ

5
Aha Gèdawo 00:05:06

Kronos Quartet, MainArtist - Getatchew Mekurya, Composer

2014 Nonesuch Records 2014 Kronos Performing Arts Association

6
An Buachaillín Bán 00:05:58

Kronos Quartet, MainArtist - Traditional, Composer

2014 Nonesuch Records 2014 Nonesuch Records Inc.

7
The Round Sun and Crescent Moon in the Sky 00:02:09

Kronos Quartet, MainArtist - Traditional, Composer

2014 Nonesuch Records 2014 Kronos Performing Arts Association

8
Eviç Taksim 00:05:28

Kronos Quartet, MainArtist - Tanburi Cemil Bey, Composer

2014 Nonesuch Records 2014 Nonesuch Records Inc.

9
Rangin Kaman (Excerpt) 00:04:45

Kronos Quartet, MainArtist - Homayun Sakhi, Composer

2014 Nonesuch Records 2014 Smithsonian Folkways Recording

10
Smyrneiko Minore 00:03:28

Kronos Quartet, MainArtist - Traditional, Composer

2014 Nonesuch Records 2014 Kronos Performing Arts Association

11
Cry of a Lady 00:05:09

Kronos Quartet, MainArtist - Terry Riley, Composer

2014 Nonesuch Records 2014 Nonesuch Records Inc.

12
Sim Sholom 00:04:45

Kronos Quartet, MainArtist - Alter Yechiel Karniol, Composer

2014 Nonesuch Records 2014 Nonesuch Records Inc.

13
Mera Kuchh Saaman 00:06:51

Kronos Quartet, MainArtist - Rahul Dev Burman, Composer

2014 Nonesuch Records 2014 Nonesuch Records Inc.

14
Asleep from Five Tango Sensations 00:05:25

Kronos Quartet, MainArtist - Astor Piazzolla, Composer

2014 Nonesuch Records 2014 Nonesuch Records Inc.

15
Danny Boy 00:07:12

Kronos Quartet, MainArtist - Traditional, Composer

2014 Nonesuch Records 2014 Kronos Performing Arts Association

Album Description

A Thousand Thoughts, whose title comes from the traditional Swedish melody that opens the program, is not a release of new material but a compilation of prior Kronos Quartet performances that draw on international materials. They go back as far as 1989, but the majority come from after 2000, when this aspect of the group's repertoire has become more important. As such, your reaction to them may well depend on whether you think this kind of experiment represents a laudable curiosity or a drive-by approach to world music. Even the detractors, though, would do well to note the following positives. The Kronos Quartet have been highly influential in this regard, as they have in so many others, and it's due to their efforts that it's commonplace nowadays to hear tango music (as you do here) or something similar in a string quartet recital. The Kronos do not simply rely on standards that fit the quartet medium but often feature representatives of the ethnic traditions involved, pushing themselves a bit to enter into exotic sound worlds. (Especially successful in this regard is the concluding version of "Danny Boy," sung by the late Texas country singer and yodeler Don Walser, the so-called Pavarotti of the Plains; this version was available on one of Walser's albums, but is not exactly a common item.) The sound engineering associated with the Kronos has always been high-class, and this collection of live and studio tracks recorded over almost a 25-year period holds together as a unit quite well. Likewise, the quartet itself has maintained a consistent sound over the several changes in personnel represented here. This has the potential to serve as a good sampler for those interested in the ethnomusicological side of contemporary chamber music. ~ James Manheim

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