Sunrise Of The Planetary Dream Collector: Music of Terry Riley

Kronos Quartet

Sunrise Of The Planetary Dream Collector: Music of Terry Riley
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Sunrise Of The Planetary Dream Collector: Music of Terry Riley

Kronos Quartet

Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector: Music of Terry Riley, released in honor of the composer’s 80th birthday, includes a new recording of the title piece, one of Kronos and Riley’s first collaborations, as well as a previously unreleased recording of Lacrymosa - Remembering Kevin and Cry of a Lady (originally released on A Thousand Thoughts) and G Song and Cadenza on the Night Plain (both originally released on 25 Years).


Track listing:

  1. Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector
  2. One Earth, One People, One Love (from Sun Rings)
  3. Cry of a Lady
  4. G Song
  5. Lacrymosa - Remembering Kevin
  6. Cadenza on the Night Plain: Introduction
  7. Cadenza on the Night Plain: Cadenza: Violin I
  8. Cadenza on the Night Plain: Where Was Wisdom When We Went West?
  9. Cadenza on the Night Plain: Cadenza: Viola
  10. Cadenza on the Night Plain: March of the Old Timers Reefer Division
  11. Cadenza on the Night Plain: Cadenza: Violin II

 

 

Review

No matter what music the Kronos Quartet decide to record, they always take my breath away with the strength of their technical prowess and their decisive musicality. When they choose to record the music of American composer Terry Riley though, we are in for an even bigger treat.

The Kronos Quartet has been working with Riley for more than 35 years. That is a staggering amount of time for a composer to dedicate so many works to one group and also for a chamber music ensemble to last. What is immediately apparent from the very first sustained notes is that these musicians understand Riley’s music in a way no other person could and that Riley understands the strengths of each musician in the ensemble. Unlike a lot of string quartet music, with a single melodic line in the first violin and accompanying in the other parts, Riley has created a many-headed beast with each part forming an element of the foundation of work. It put me in mind of Baroque polyphony, where each part is completely independent but nonetheless will fail without the support of the other three. When the tracks progress and more instrumentalists and vocalists join, the Kronos Quartet sit solid in the centre of each work directing the performance effortlessly.

As the founder of the American Minimalist movement, Riley’s music is often considered an acquired taste. However, I find when I listen to the Kronos Quartet that they milk every emotion from every note and encourage you to dive deep into this world of repetition, mysticism and beauty. If you’ve always been curious about contemporary classical music but have been a little too shy to try, this recording is a perfect place to start.


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