WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Kronos Quartet - Short Stories


Release Date: 03/09/1993 
Label:  Nonesuch   Catalog #: 79310   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Elliott SharpWillie DixonJohn OswaldJohn Zorn,   ... 
Performer:  David HarringtonJohn SherbaJoan JeanrenaudHank Dutt,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 weeks.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

A fine mesh of brains and guts, Short Stories is an eclectic roller-coaster ride through 20th-century music.

-- Patrick Barber, Wired


Pieces by nine very different composers make up this fascinating collection of works for string quartet entitled Short Stories, performed by the Kronos Quartet. Elliott Sharp's Digital (1986) is a hard-edged rhythmic study using the instrument bodies as drums, with objects inserted in the strings to create rattling, shaker, and tambourine-like sounds. Steve Mackey's arrangement (1989) of the classic Chicago blues tune "Spoonful" (1960), by the prolific Willie Dixon, exaggerates the gestures of the song and employs complex harmonies and modernistic devices like
Read more string crunches, etc. John Oswald's Spectre (1990) opens with the naive sound of the quartet tuning up. Electronics spread the sound into a gradually building tornado until the overwhelming "spectre" appears like masses of metallic raindrops flying throughout the space in a thunderous fortissmo. John Zorn's Cat O' Nine Tails (Tex Avery Directs the Marquis de Sade) from 1988 contrasts gentle and stinging gestures from the Classical period with sound-effect music like that in Tex Avery's outrageous cartoons. Henry Cowell's brilliant Quartet Euphometric (1916 - 1919) interweaves lines in irrational time divisions of 1/3 notes, 1/7 notes, and so on. Steven Mackey's Physical Property (1992) adds an electric guitar to the ensemble in an angular, rhythmically propelled piece that lies between rock, Bartók, and atonality. Scott Johnson's beautiful Soliloquy features the voice of I.F. Stone translated into rhythm for the instrumentalists. The text is a plea for a sense of world community. Sofia Gubaidulina's eerie Quartet No. 2 (1987) is built on ghostly tremolos and chromatics moving around a sustained tone. The late and beloved Pandit Pran Nath sings Aba Kee Tayk Hamaree (It Is My Turn, O Lord) with tabla and tambouras as the quartet creates a harmonic drone. The Kronos is in top form throughout all these selections.

-- "Blue" Gene Tyranny, AllMusic.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Digital by Elliott Sharp
Performer:  David Harrington (Violin), John Sherba (Violin), Joan Jeanrenaud (Cello),
Hank Dutt (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1986; USA 
Date of Recording: 8/1992 
Venue:  Skywalker Ranch, California 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
2. Spoonful by Willie Dixon
Performer:  Hank Dutt (Viola), John Sherba (Violin), David Harrington (Violin),
Joan Jeanrenaud (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 8/1992 
Venue:  Skywalker Ranch, California 
Length: 4 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: S. Mackey 
3. Spectre by John Oswald
Performer:  Joan Jeanrenaud (Cello), Hank Dutt (Viola), John Sherba (Violin),
David Harrington (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 10/1990 
Venue:  Different Fur 
Length: 5 Minutes 45 Secs. 
4. Cat o'nine tails by John Zorn
Performer:  Joan Jeanrenaud (Cello), Hank Dutt (Viola), John Sherba (Violin),
David Harrington (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Date of Recording: 7/1991 
Venue:  Skywalker Ranch, California 
Length: 12 Minutes 40 Secs. 
5. Quartet for Strings "Euphometric" by Henry Cowell
Performer:  David Harrington (Violin), John Sherba (Violin), Hank Dutt (Viola),
Joan Jeanrenaud (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1919; USA 
Date of Recording: 8/1992 
Venue:  Skywalker Ranch, California 
Length: 1 Minutes 50 Secs. 
6. Physical Property by Steven Mackey
Performer:  Joan Jeanrenaud (Cello), John Sherba (Violin), Hank Dutt (Viola),
David Harrington (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1992; USA 
Date of Recording: 8/1992 
Venue:  Skywalker Ranch, California 
Length: 14 Minutes 26 Secs. 
7. Soliloquy by Scott Johnson
Performer:  Joan Jeanrenaud (Cello), John Sherba (Violin), David Harrington (Violin),
Hank Dutt (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 8/1992 
Venue:  Skywalker Ranch, California 
Length: 13 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Notes: This selection includes a voice sampling of I.F. Stone. 
8. Quartet for Strings no 2 by Sofia Gubaidulina
Performer:  Joan Jeanrenaud (Cello), David Harrington (Violin), Hank Dutt (Viola),
John Sherba (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1987; USSR 
Date of Recording: 8/1992 
Venue:  Skywalker Ranch, California 
Length: 8 Minutes 28 Secs. 
9. Aba kee tayk hamaree by Pandit Pran Nath
Performer:  Terry Riley (Tambura), John Constant (Tambura), Pandit Pran Nath (Voice),
Krishna Bhatt (Tabla)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1992 
Date of Recording: 8/1992 
Venue:  Skywalker Ranch, California 
Length: 10 Minutes 56 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook