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White Man Sleeps / Kronos Quartet


Release Date: 10/25/1990 
Label:  Nonesuch   Catalog #: 79163   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Kevin VolansCharles IvesJon HassellThomas Oboe Lee,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 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

[ White Man Sleeps] offers two short, eerie pieces from the title series by Kevin Volans, a South African composer. In addition, there is a Charles Ives Scherzo, an atmospheric Jon Hassell composition, an arrangement of Ornette Coleman's ''Lonely Woman'' from his pioneering period in 1959, Ben Johnston's haunting ''Amazing Grace'' (a canny blend of modernist skill and folkish Americana worth the price of the record all by itself) and, finally, from the dim, distant past, Bela Bartok's Quartet No. 3 of 1927, which sounds not a whit less bold than all the rest.

-- John Rockwell, The New York Times [7/26/1987]


This album features the original version of "White Man Sleeps," written in 1982,
Read more and "Mbira" from 1980. If you think landmark European 17th/18th century baroque instruments and African musical structures are irreconcilable opposites and you are open enough to change your mind, this is the album for you. These pieces of Kevin Volans belong indeed to the most exciting developments in contemporary music. "White Man Sleeps" features harpsichords and a viola da gamba in African tuning and conventional (non-African) percussion, and "Mbira" is played on percussion and harpsichord. The latter also possesses a haunting bass line and should be played loud to be fully enjoyed. The comparison of the original version of "White Man Sleeps" contained on this album with the one by the Kronos Quartet (on their albums White Man Sleeps and Pieces of Africa) yields that due to the unconventional combination of musical instruments and their tunings, the original version gets a much stranger and even obscure character.

-- Frank Eisenhuth, AllMusic.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Quartet for Strings no 1 "White Man Sleeps": 1st movement by Kevin Volans
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; Ireland 
2. A Set of Short Pieces (3): no 2, Scherzo "Holding Your Own" by Charles Ives
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1914; USA 
3. Pano da Costa by Jon Hassell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1985; USA 
4. Morango...Almost a Tango by Thomas Oboe Lee
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1983; USA 
5. Lonely Woman by Ornette Coleman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; USA 
Notes: Arranged: Mel Graves 
6. Quartet for Strings no 4 "Amazing Grace" by Ben Johnston
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1973; USA 
7. Quartet for Strings no 1 "White Man Sleeps": 5th movement by Kevin Volans
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
8. Quartet for Strings no 3, Sz 85 by Béla Bartók
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kronos Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; Budapest, Hungary 

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