For over forty years, The Kronos Quartet from Washington/San Francisco has produced an amazing array of music. The quartet (David Harrington – violin, John Sherba – violin, Hank Dutt – viola, Sunny Lang – cello. Sunny Yang is the band’s fourth replacement at cello. Kronos began with Joan Jeanrenaud, who was with them from their inception in 1973 until 1999.) has become a popular collective with well over 850 commissioned works and more than three times that in live performances. From a recorded standpoint, the Kronos Quartet have released more than sixty albums.
On June 16, Nonesuch Records (their longtime label) will release a 5CD set by Kronos Quartet called One Earth, One People, One Love – Kronos Plays Terry Riley. The music found on this set feature compositions by American composer, Terry Riley. Terry Riley is a California-based minimalist of Western classical music. This innovative composer has a wide collection of recorded works spanning from 1963. To give you the scope of influence that Terry Riley has, it is said that the minimalist electronic organ work in “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” are Townshend’s inspired work drawn from Riley’s “A Rainbow In Curved Air”. (Check it out; it’s there!)
Of the four titles included in this set, three are previously released Nonesuch issues (the Grammy-nominated Salome Dances for Peace – 1989, 2CD; Requiem For Adam – 2001, The Cusp Of Magic – 2008). The other album, Sunrise Of The Planetary Dream Collector: Music of Terry Riley is a brand new offering by Kronos recorded to celebrate the 80th birthday of Terry Riley.
For Kronos Quartet fans not wanting the entire box, or who may already be in possession of the previously released albums, Nonesuch will be making the new title, Sunrise Of the Planetary Dream Collector: Music Of Terry Riley, available separate of the box. It will share the Box release date of June 16.
I have been a fan of Kronos Quartet since their Steve Reich collaboration, Different Trains/Electric Counterpoint. As an admission, it was Tangerine Dream who opened the many doors I willingly walked through after them to become aware of artists like the Classical masters (Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Grofé, Debussy, Holst, etc), the developing classicists like Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Vangelis, etc. The list goes on and on, so thank-you, Tangerine Dream!)
If you’re an adventurous music fan, I can highly recommend the ambient classical gems like Isao Tomita (who no longer records), Philip Glass, and others like Terry Riley, whom this entire new set is based upon. I recognize that Kronos Quartet, or even Terry Riley won’t be for everyone. But if you’re that kind of fan, I hope this news brings you joy!