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Reviews: Kronos plays Holmgreen

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Reviews: 1

Review by Stanbury January 15, 2013 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
This album should be a must-have for all fans of the Kronos Quartet. This is their only album on SACD, and the medium (especially in surround sound) adds a particularly exciting feel to their music. In this incarnation the quartet consists of David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Jeffrey Zeiger (cello).

The music consists of compositions by Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen (1932), who is a Danish composer. His music can be heard on two other SACDs (Baltic Voices 3 and Piano Works), and there is quite a number of CDs of his compositions. The first piece on this SACD "Concerto Grosso" is for string quartet and symphonic ensemble. It is written in a single movement, starts out quietly, builds to a great and glorious percussive cacophony, and then tapers off into silence. It certainly isn't background music, but qualifies for me as a guilty pleasure. The second piece is the two-movement "Moving Still". The first movement is for string quartet and voice; the voice is that of Paul Hillier, and he recites (in English) a H. C. Anderson story about how Americans in the future will tour Europe by airship. The second movement has Hillier singing (in Danish) with the quartet playing. Both movements also use prerecorded sounds. The third piece, "Last Ground", is for manipulated recordings of sea sounds plus string quartet.

Although I will not be playing this album frequently, I love it. The sounds move me powerfully, and the listening experience is quite satisfying.

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