Kronos Quartet Performs With David Krakauer in Zankel Hall, 5/3
On Friday, May 3 at 9:00 p.m., Carnegie Hall presents the groundbreaking Kronos Quartet in a program of new music in Zankel Hall. Special guest clarinetist David Krakauer joins Kronos for the New York premiere of Aleksandra Vrebalov's Babylon, Our Own, on a program that also includes the world premiere of Missy Mazzoli's You Know Me From Here, the New York premiere of Valentin Silvestrov's String Quartet No. 3, and Laurie Anderson's Flow (arranged by Jacob Garchik). A pre-concert talk starts at 8:00 p.m. with David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet and composers Missy Mazzoli and Aleksandra Vrebalov in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Director of Artistic Planning at Carnegie Hall.
Prior to this performance, starting at 8:00 p.m., ticketholders are invited to enjoy Late Nights at Zankel Hall, a laid-back pre-concert experience. The first 200 ticketholders to arrive will receive a complimentary drink courtesy of Carnegie Hall. For more information, please visit carnegiehall.org/latenights.
About her three-movement work You Know Me From Here, Mazzoli writes, "You Know Me From Here was commissioned for Kronos by Carol Magnus Cole, in celebration of her husband Tim's 75th birthday. When she asked me to write this piece I immediately imagined a 20-minute musical journey homeward, a trek through chaos (I. Lift Your Fists) and loneliness (II. Everything That Rises Must Converge) to a place of security and companionship (III. You Know Me From Here). This is, at its core, music about loss, but in the most positive sense; it speaks of the loss of our old selves, the jumps into the unknown, the leaps of faith we all must make and the beautiful moments when we find solace in a person, in an idea, or in music itself. The music itself shifts constantly from earthy, gritty gestures to soaring, leaping melodies that rarely land where we expect."
Vrebalov's Babylon, Our Own, was written for Kronos and Krakauer and inspired by these artists' playing of diverse styles of music. She writes, "The result is a piece in which times, places, and cultures intersect to celebrate music as the language I feel most comfortable with, a language that has brought all of us together. I imagine the single-movement form of Babylon, Our Own unfolding like a ritual, carrying one through a vast range of memories and visions triggered by pre-recorded documentary audio materials. Filtered and manipulated to different levels of abstraction, pre-recorded sounds include snippets of friends' voices speaking their names, New York City street noise, Kronos Quartet and David Krakauer rehearsing the piece, gatherings of groups in religious fervor, the prayers of the Pope, the Dalai Lama, and the Orthodox Patriarch, Morse code, as well as my grandmother reciting the poetry she had learned as a child in the 1930s."
As in many of Silvestrov's works, unsettling atonal harmonies alternate with fragmentary melodies in his seven-movement String Quartet No. 3, premiered last year in London. The two sides of Silvestrov's musical personality are evident throughout the quartet, from the opening Präludium, in which blocks of drifting, atonal chords are illuminated by twinkling, quicksilver arpeggios, to the closing Postlude, which is not a conclusion or a climax, but an echo of everything that preceded it. "Music should be born of silence," Silvestrov states. "That's the most important thing: the dimension of silence."
The original version of Laurie Anderson's "Flow" is the final track on her 2010 Grammy Award-nominated album Homeland, her first studio recording in a decade. A collection of songs both personal and political, Homeland epitomizes the essential American nature of Anderson's work, with topics ranging from US foreign policy, torture, economic collapse, the erosion of personal freedom, medical malpractice, religion, and cynicism.