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A Thousand Thoughts

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For nearly four decades, the Kronos Quartet—David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Jeffrey Zeigler (cello)—has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to expanding the range and context of the string quartet. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our ... Read more in Amazon's Kronos Quartet Store

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Product Description

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. Nonesuch, the Quartet's long time label, celebrates this remarkable curiosity in the group's 40th anniversary year with two releases: the Kronos Explorer Series five-CD box set and a new album A Thousand Thoughts. A Thousand Thoughts is a look at Kronos' geographically wide-ranging sources. It features 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: Joan Jeanrenaud (1978-1999), Jennifer Culp (1999-2005), Jeffrey Zeigler (2005-2013), and Sunny Yang (2013-present). Ten of the album's 15 pieces are previously unreleased. For 40 years, the Kronos Quartet—David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello)—has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of exploration with a commitment to continually re-imagining the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 50 recordings, collaborating with many of the world's most accomplished composers and performers, and commissioning more than 800 works and arrangements for string quartet. In 2011, Kronos became the only recipients of both the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize, two of the most prestigious awards given to musicians. The group's numerous awards also include a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance (2004) and Musicians of the Year (2003) from Musical America.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Some Old, Some New, and All Outstanding 17 April 2014
By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Kronos Quartet and its institution was established 40 years ago, and in honor of that milestone they have issued a partial compilation album, A Thousand Thoughts. Kronos has its own albums, of course, but they have appeared over the years on many others, both classical and world styles. Indeed, the champion of avant-garde and classical New Music have outstanding ears for traditional and indigenous music from around the planet, and this particular album celebrates it. One track is from Music of Central Asia. Vol. 8, issued by Smithsonian Folkways, another is from Wu Man's Immeasurable Light, a third from You've Stolen My Heart, with Asha Bhosle. Also included is a section from the Piazzolla, Five Tango Sensations, and Noise & Chill Out: Ethiopian Groove Worldwide. Other tracks seem to be from their own archived studio and concert recordings. Notes describe which musician or musical sound influenced their arrangements or commissions. The cello position has been held by four musicians, all represented here.

The album takes us on a journey of space and time, with guest musicians joining Kronos Quartet. Beginning with Sweden, the album moves to America's 1927 tune of Blind Willie Johnson, over to Syria for dance music, and to Vietnam with Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ on dan tranh zither. Next, we are taken to Ethiopia and then to Ireland with Tony MacMahon. Wu Man, the Chinese pipa player, is a frequent and favorite collaborator of the quartet; her track shifts back to the Middle East and a tune based on Tanburi Cemkil Bey of Turkey. Afghanistan follows, with Salar Nader on tabla, Abbos Kolsimov on percussion, and Homayun Sakhi playing rubab lute. The time machine takes us to 1918 and a Greco-Turkish rembetika song, with added noise to suggest a scratched Edison cylinder. Bring along composer Terry Riley and the Bulgarian State Radio and Television Female Vocal Choir (which were introduced as Le Mystère des Volix Bulgares in the 1960s) for a rich sound. On to a Jewish lament performed by the Quartet's Sunny Yang on cello. An actual vocal by Bhosle arrives, then to an an Argentine nuevo tango. The final track, from a concert, is Danny Boy, with the Kronos Quartet joined by Don Walser and the Pure Texas Band. This album joins the Kronos Quartet's other world music albums, such as Pieces of Africa, Caravan, and Floodplain, as further proof of their amazing musicianship and expansive art.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Kronos has done more to create a global dialogue of the worlds greatest musicians and musics than any other group 19 July 2014
By S. Rose - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Transcendent. Kronos has done more to create a global dialogue of the worlds greatest musicians and musics than any other group. David Harrington should be canonized/Nobel Peace-prized/...
2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Interesting but odd 30 May 2014
By Susan J. Jensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I enjoyed listening to it once, but will probably not go back to it again. It was just too strange for my ear and neither relaxing nor rhythmic.
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