An Eclectic Mix
Morry Campbell | New York, NY | 09/22/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a terrific CD. From Webern to John Lurie, to John Zorn's wild "Forbidden Fruit," to a stunning rendition of Barber's Adagio in it's original String Quartet form, this album rocks. Okay, probably not the most appropriate description of a string quartet album, but it does--it rocks. I think this is my favorite recording of the Barber Adagio. Some challenging pieces, but for anyone that loves contemporary classical music, this is a great set."
You Gotta Love'em
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 11/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love the Kronos. I love their pluck and their popularity with a young audience. I love them for opening ears to contemporary music. But sometimes I wish they'd prove that they can get less edgy when the music calls for it. Sometimes I hear them forcing the music bar by bar and missing whatever unity the whole piece should have.
On this CD, the weakest performances are Arvo Part's Fratres, which doesn't want to be overinterpreted, and Anton Webern's Six Bagatelles, which isn't and shouldn't sound like minimalism. Lots of other quartets have recorded the Webern, in case you want to compare.
The best performances, IMHO, are Aulis Sallinen's brief and beautiful Winter Was Hard, and Alfred Schnittke's Quarter #3. Frankly I didn't expect the Kronos to handle Schnittke well, but they do. In fact, this is the best Schnittke I've ever heard, and worth the price of the whole CD.
The Terry Riley piece reminds me of the title of William Faulkner's most famous novel.
John Zorn's Forbidden Fruit is probably a durian, an acquired taste; I'd say the Kronos does it well...if I were sure what "well" might be. Unlike other reviewers, I find the Barber Adagio unconvincing; should it sing more or should it sob?
This is a fairly early Kronos disk, recorded when Joan Jeanrenaud was still the cellist of the quartet. It's certainly a performance well worth hearing and keeping in your collection, even if some of the tracks need to be skipped. And if you ever have a chance to hear the Kronos live, jump at it! They have wonderful stage presence."
A great Cd
Jenn Turner | 09/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think this album should recieve 5 stars. I think this because Forbidden Fruit by Zorn is a great piece of music which everyone should be familiar with. He quotes some great stuff in the work...among other things an excerpt from Beethoven's Grosse Fugue for String quartet. The rest of the music on this CD is fantastic. I feel the reviewer below gave three stars due to a inability to understand Zorn. But if you don't fall under that category or if you are willing to listen and be openminded I reccomend this CD without reserve"