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Music of Central Asia, Vol. 8: Rainbow (with Alim & Fargana Qasimov & Homayun Sakhi) [Audio Version]

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Customer Reviews

Classic Kronos

Those who know Kronos and their work will appreciate this latest addition to their long line of inquisitive and exquisite explorations of World Music traditions. The pieces on this album come straight out of folk traditions of Central Asia, performed with haunting beauty, featuring voice and traditional folk instruments along with the strings. It is an amazing feast for the senses to hear the Kronos sound as if they were forever a part of this musical tradition, creating a superb hybrid world for those of us who are ready, able, and willing to explore new territory by pushing our self-imposed boundaries. Bravo!

Response to Boolez

Boolez has, as always, written a sharply critical, gramatically-challenged review of an album of which he (by his own admission) has only heard the 30-second clips. Here are responses to a few of his points:

1) Smithsonian Folkways has "the gall to call it 'Music of Central Asia.'" Well, to put it simply: is. For one, Alim Qasimov is Azerbaijani. And he plays music of Azerbaijan. Which means this is music of central Asia.

2) Boolez 'isn't sure' why Kronos play this genre, since the string quartet 'wasn't invented in [Asia].' So by his own reasoning, we ought to hear the string quartet play only music of Italy and Austria, since those were the countries which contributed to its prominence as an ensemble? Not to mention all American music; since the orchestra 'wasn't invented' there, ought we to discount all music but Native American musics? And ought the piano to play only music of central Italy?

I understand Boolez' desire to become a critic as harsh as his otherwise-spelled namesake, good old Pierre, but let's give props to Kronos for branching out; not only have they performed many, many cutting-edge modern and contemporary works (listen to Partch lately?), but they've also played music from every continent. Bravo to an ensemble brave enough to do so.

Hey look

They actually filed this as world music which is a relief because it is in no way concert music. Folkways is a wonderful label but one has to questing their motives by taking this schlock and having the gall to call it "Music of Central Asia". this is fairly tame watered down renditions of what is actually played there in the actual folk traditions. I'm pretty sure that the string quartet wasn't invented there so why the Kronos was invited to ride shotgun is beyond me. No doubt the yogurt infused yuppie's out there who's idea of folk music is listening to DMB covers at their local farmers market will be hip to get this and play it at their parties. -Bz


Formed: 1973 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Since their founding in 1973, Kronos Quartet have become the foremost ambassador of contemporary chamber music, determined and successful at breaking down barriers between musical genres and between musicians and audiences. David Harrington, the ensemble's founder and first violinist, was inspired to form the group after hearing George Crumb's Black Angels. By the end of the 1970s, Kronos settled into a tight collaboration between Harrington, violinist John Sherba, violist Hank Dutt, and cellist...
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Music of Central Asia, Vol. 8: Rainbow (with Alim & Fargana Qasimov & Homayun Sakhi) [Audio Version], Kronos Quartet
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: World, Music
  • Released: Mar 30, 2010

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