Kronos Quartet discography

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Kronos Quartet discography

Kronos Quartet live in Warsaw, Poland. Photograph by Henryk Kotowski.
Releases
Studio albums 43
Compilation albums 2
Video albums 3
Soundtracks 5
Contributions 29

The discography of the Kronos Quartet includes 43 studio albums, two compilations, five soundtracks, and 29 contributions to other artists' records. The Kronos Quartet (often referred to as "Kronos" or "The Kronos") plays contemporary classical music and was founded in 1973 by violinist David Harrington. Since 1978, they are based in San Francisco, California. Since 1985, the quartet's music has been released on Nonesuch Records.

Early recordings by the quartet contain contemporary classical music and adaptations of more popular music, such as jazz and rock and roll. Since the 1980s, and especially with the release of Cadenza on the Night Plain, written as a collaboration between composer Terry Riley and the quartet, much of the quartet's repertoire and album releases contain music written especially for them, by composers such as Terry Riley, Kevin Volans, Henryk Górecki, and Ástor Piazzolla. Their music "covers a who's who of 20th century-composers", as one critic noted in 1998.[1]

Kronos has recorded five soundtracks including the 1998 score by Philip Glass for the 1931 silent movie Dracula, and has contributed to the soundtracks of five other movies, including Heat and 21 Grams. Outside the genre of classical music, Kronos has collaborated with a great number of other artists, especially pop artists, such as Joan Armatrading, Dave Matthews Band, Andy Summers, Nelly Furtado, and Nine Inch Nails.

The quartet has achieved considerable commercial and critical success and by 1998 (the year of the quartet's 25th anniversary) had sold more than 1.5 million albums.[2] Many of Kronos' albums have ranked on various Billboard charts;[3] the 1992 album Pieces of Africa reached #1 in the Top World Albums chart.[4] The quartet won a Grammy for the 2003 album Lyric Suite.

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Notes
1982 In Formation
  • Released: 1982
  • Label: Reference (#9)
  • Format: LP, CD
  • "In imaging, transient accuracy and timbre, one of the finest string quartet discs ever issued."[5]
1985 Monk Suite: Kronos Quartet Plays Music of Thelonious Monk
  • Released: 1985
  • Label: Landmark (#1505)
  • Format: LP, CD, MP3
1985 Terry Riley: Cadenza on the Night Plain
  • Released: 1985
  • Label: Gramavision
  • Format: 2LP, CD
  • Collaboration between composer Terry Riley and the Quartet.[9] "Charming music that grows on one, in really committed performances."[10] Rereleased on CD (Gramavision #18-7014-2), 1 August 1992; rereleased on CD (Hanibal #1509), 31 January 2006.
1986 Music of Bill Evans
  • Released: 1986
  • Label: Landmark (#1510), Savoy (#17405)
  • Format: LP, CD
1986 Kronos Quartet
  • Released: 15 August 1986
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79111)
  • Format: LP, CD, MP3
1987 White Man Sleeps
  • Released: 15 July 1987
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79163)
  • Format: LP, CD, MP3
1988 Winter Was Hard
  • Released: 30 September 1988
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79181)
  • Format: LP, CD, MP3
1989 Steve Reich: Different Trains/Electric Counterpoint
  • Released: 3 March 1989
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79176)
  • Format: LP, CD, MP3
  • Two Steve Reich compositions. Kronos Quartet play tracks 1–3 (Different Trains); Pat Metheny (guitar) plays tracks 4–6 (Electric Counterpoint). Different Trains written for the quartet.[18] Listed at #16 in the Los Angeles Times Classical Top 25 of 1989.[17] Reich won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Composition, with Kronos Quartet as performing artist.[19]
1989 Kronos Quartet Plays Terry Riley: Salome Dances for Peace
  • Released: 27 October 1989
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79127)
  • Format: 2LP, 2CD, MP3
  • Collaboration between the composer and the quartet,[9] nominated for a Grammy.[20]
1990 Black Angels
  • Released: 29 June 1990
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79242)
  • Format: LP, CD, MP3
1991 Witold Lutosławski: String Quartet
  • Released: 25 January 1991
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79255)
  • Format: CD single, MP3
1991 Kevin Volans: Hunting:Gathering
  • Released: 27 January 1991
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79253)
  • Format: CD single, MP3
1991 Five Tango Sensations
  • Released: 25 January 1991
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79254)
  • Format: CD, MP3
1991 Henryk Mikolaj Górecki: Already It Is Dusk/"Lerchenmusik"
  • Released: 28 May 1991
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79257)
  • Format: CD
  • Two compositions by Polish composer Henryk Mikolaj Górecki. "Already It Is Dusk" (String Quartet No. 1, Op. 62, 1988) played by Kronos Quartet; "Lerchenmusik" (Recitatives & Ariosos, Op. 53, for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano, 1984) by the London Sinfonietta.
1992 Pieces of Africa
  • Released: 21 February 1992
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79275)
  • Format: CD, MP3
  • Music written for the quartet by seven African composers.[7][27][28] Reached #1 in Billboard's "Top World Albums", and spent 29 weeks on the chart.[4]
1993 Short Stories
  • Released: 5 March 1993
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79310)
  • Format: CD, MP3
1993 Henryk Górecki: String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2
  • Released: 25 June 1993
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79319)
  • Format: CD, MP3
1993 At the Grave of Richard Wagner
  • Released: 24 September 1993
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79318)
  • Format: CD, MP3
1993 Morton Feldman: Piano and String Quartet
  • Released: 24 September 1993
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79320)
  • Format: CD, MP3
1993 Bob Ostertag: All the Rage
  • Released: 22 October 1993
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79332)
  • Format: CD single, MP3
1994 Night Prayers
  • Released: 2 September 1994
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79346)
  • Format: CD, MP3
1995 Kronos Quartet Performs Philip Glass
  • Released: 3 February 1995
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79356)
  • Format: CD, MP3
  • "An ideal combination of composer and performers."[37] Reached #9 in Billboard's "Top Classical Albums,"[38] and spent 12 weeks on the "Billboard Classical 50" chart.[39]
1996 Howl, USA
  • Released: 31 May 1996
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79372)
  • Format: CD, MP3
1997 Osvaldo Golijov: The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind
  • Released: 14 March 1997
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79444)
  • Format: CD, MP3
1997 Tan Dun: Ghost Opera
  • Released: 14 March 1997
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79445)
  • Format: CD, MP3
1997 Early Music (Lachrymæ Antiquæ)
  • Released: 12 September 1997
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79457)
  • Format: CD, MP3
1998 Kronos Quartet Performs Alfred Schnittke: The Complete String Quartets
  • Released: 15 May 1998
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79500)
  • Format: 2CD, MP3
  • "Kronos can play like demons."[44]
1998 John Adams: John's Book of Alleged Dances
  • Released: 21 April 1998
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79465)
  • Format: CD, MP3
2000 Caravan
  • Released: 7 April 2000
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79490)
  • Format: CD, MP3
2001 Terry Riley: Requiem for Adam
  • Released: 4 September 2001
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79639)
  • Format: CD, MP3
  • Written by Terry Riley in memory of Adam Harrington, David Harrington's son. Also includes "The Philosopher's Hand", piano improvisation by Riley.
2001 Steve Reich: Triple Quartet
  • Released: 16 October 2001
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79546)
  • Format: CD, MP3
2002 Nuevo
  • Released: 9 April 2002
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79649)
  • Format: CD, MP3
  • Music by Mexican composers: "A full-throttled celebration of the multitextured sounds of Mexico."[47] Reached #8 in Billboard's "Top Classical Crossover Albums" and stayed on the chart for 14 weeks.[48]
2003 Pēteris Vasks: String Quartet No. 4
  • Released: 19 August 2003
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79695)
  • Format: CD single, MP3
  • Written by Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks for the quartet;[49][50][51] achieves "both feverish intensity and active rumination as the piece requires."[52]
2003 Alban Berg: Lyric Suite
  • Released: 19 August 2003
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79696)
  • Format: CD single, MP3
2003 Harry Partch: U.S. Highball
  • Released: 19 August 2003
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79697)
  • Format: CD single, MP3
2005 Mugam Sayagi: Music of Franghiz Ali-Zadeh
  • Released: 11 January 2005
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79804)
  • Format: CD, MP3
  • Four works by the Azerbaijani composer Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, three of which ("Oasis" (1998), "Apsheron Quintet" (2001), and "Mugam Sayagi" (1993)) commissioned by the Quartet. Fourth track is Ali-Zadeh's "Music for Piano", which is performed by the composer, who also plays piano on "Apsheron Quintet." Reached #14 in Billboard's "Top Classical Albums."[55]
2005 You've Stolen My Heart: Songs From R.D. Burman's Bollywood with Asha Bhosle
  • Released: 23 August 2005
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79856)
  • Format: CD, MP3
2007 Henryk Górecki: String Quartet No. 3 ('...songs are sung')
  • Released: 20 March 2007
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79993)
  • Format: CD, MP3
  • "Editor's Choice" for Strings magazine: "a solemn, spiritual, and revolutionary work."[60] Entered at #6 in Billboard's "Top Classical Albums" on 30 March 2007.[61]
2007 Kronos Quartet Plays Sigur Rós
  • Released: 4 September 2007
  • Label: Nonesuch (#307452)
  • Format: MP3
2008 Terry Riley: The Cusp of Magic
  • Released: 4 February 2008
  • Label: Nonesuch (#360508)
  • Format: CD, MP3
*Written for the quartet, with Wu Man (pipa).[63] Reached #3 in Billboard's "Top Classical Albums" and stayed on the chart for 10 weeks.[64]
2009 Floodplain
  • Released: 19 May 2009
  • Label: Nonesuch (#518349)
  • Format: CD, MP3
Music written or arranged for the quartet, "from cultures based in areas surrounded by water and prone to catastrophic flooding."[65] Includes long piece by Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov.
2010 Rainbow: Music of Central Asia Vol. 8
  • Released: 2010
  • Label: Smithsonian Folkways 40527
  • Format: CD, MP3
With Alim and Fargana Qasimov (tracks 2-6) and Homayun Sakhi (track 1)
2011 Uniko
  • Released: 1 February 2011
  • Label: Ondine (ODE 1185-2)
  • Format: CD, MP3
Features Kronos Quartet, Finnish accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen and Samuli Kosminen (live electronics).[66] Seven-part suite for string quartet, accordion and live electronics composed by Pohjonen and Kosminen.

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details Notes
1995 Released: 1985–1995
  • Released: 20 October 1995
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79394)
  • Format: CD, MP3
  • 2-disc set.
1998 Kronos Quartet: 25 Years
  • Released: 16 October 1998
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79504)
  • Format: CD, MP3
  • 10-CD box set retrospective.[7] Recorded "with virtuosity, vigor, and astonishing stylistic dexterity."[67]

Video albums[edit]

Year Video details Notes
2000 In Accord
2002 Kronos on Stage
  • Released: 5 September 2000
  • Label: Image Entertainment
  • Format: DVD
2007 Polish Quartets (Kwartety polskie)
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: Polskie Wydawnictwo Audiowizualne
  • Format: DVD

Soundtracks[edit]

Year Soundtrack details Notes
1985 Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
1999 Dracula
  • Released: 27 August 1999
  • Label: Nonesuch (#97542)
  • Format: CD, MP3
2000 Requiem for a Dream
  • Released: 29 September 2000
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79611)
  • Format: CD, MP3
2006 The Fountain
  • Released: 27 November 2006
  • Label: Nonesuch (#79901)
  • Format: CD, MP3
2009 2081
  • Released: forthcoming
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Format: CD, MP3

Contributions[edit]

Year Album details Notes
1986 Philip Glass, Songs from Liquid Days
  • Released: 1986
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays "Freezing" and "Forgetting." Vocals by Linda Ronstadt (both tracks), backing vocals by The Roches ("Forgetting").
1987 John Zorn, Spillane
  • Released: 1987
  • Label: Elecktra/Nonesuch
  • Format: LP & CD
1993 Chance Operation: The John Cage Tribute
  • Released: 1993
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Tribute to John Cage; Kronos plays "Thirty Pieces for String Quartet Excerpt."
1995 In C: 25th Anniversary Concert
  • Released: 9 February 1995
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
1995 Joan Armatrading, What's Inside
  • Released: 10 October 1995
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays on "Shapes and Sizes."
1995 Heat
  • Released: 19 December 1995
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
1996 David Grisman Quintet, DGQ-20
  • Released: 16 July 1996
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays on "Mondo Mando."
1998 Dave Matthews Band, Before These Crowded Streets
  • Released: 28 April 1998
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays on "The Stone."
1999 Jay Cloidt, Kole Kat Krush
  • Released: 1999
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays on "Kole Kat Krush."
1999 Café Tacuba, Reves/Yosoy
  • Released: 20 July 1999
  • Label:
  • Format: 2CD
  • Kronos plays "M.C." on the "Reves" disc of the double album, a cover of "La Muerte Chiquita" from the "Yosoy" disc.
2000 Andy Summers, Peggy's Blue Skylight
  • Released: 26 September 2000
  • Label:
  • Format: 2CD
2001 Osvaldo Golijov,[69] The Man Who Cried
  • Released: 22 May 2001
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays "Close Your Eyes (instrumental)", "Ceasar's Song", "Without A Word", "Close Your Eyes (vocal)." Other tracks by Salvatore Licitra, Taraf de Haïdouks, and others.[70][71]
2001 Ingram Marshall, Kingdom Come
  • Released: 17 July 2001
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays "Fog Tropes II for String Quartet and Tape", originally written for brass sextet and rearranged for Kronos Quartet.
2002 Big Bad Love (soundtrack)
  • Released: 19 February 2002
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos Quartet plays "Spiritual" (with Tom Verlaine); "a once-in-a-lifetime teaming of guitarist Tom Verlaine with the Kronos Quartet."[72]
2003 Wesla Whitfield, September Songs: The Music of Wilder, Weill and Warren
  • Released: 13 May 2003
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
2003 Tiger Lillies, The Gorey End
  • Released: 16 September 2003
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos contribute to 9 of the 13 songs inspired by Edward Gorey.
2003 Bird Up: The Charlie Parker Remix Project
  • Released: 21 October 2003
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
2003 Nelly Furtado, Folklore
  • Released: 25 November 2003
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays on "One-Trick Pony."
2003 The Company (soundtrack)
  • Released: 9 December 2003
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
2003 Gustavo Santaolalla,[74] 21 Grams (soundtrack)
  • Released: 9 December 2003
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays "When Our Wings Are Cut, Can We Still Fly."
2004 Rokia Traoré, Bowmboï
  • Released: 31 August 2004
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays "Manian", "Bowmboï."
2006 Dan Zanes, Catch that Train
  • Released: 16 May 2006
  • Label: Festival Five Records #009
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays on "Grey Goose."
2006 Matmos, The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast
  • Released: 9 May 2006
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays "Solo Buttons for Joe Meek."
2007 Healing the Divide: A Concert for Peace and Reconciliation
  • Released: 8 July 2007
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays on "Way Down in the Hole", "God's Away on Business", "Lost In The Harbor", and "Diamond In Your Mind", four songs with Tom Waits (vocals) and Greg Cohen (bass). "Thanks to Waits' complex sense of the human condition, these are among Kronos' most powerful, satisfying performances. Highly recommended."[75]
2007 Osvaldo Golijov, Oceana
  • Released: 10 July 2007
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays "Tenebrae 1", "Tenebrae 2." "This is Kronos far afield from pop flirtations, spiritually resplendent and leaving you wanting more at the same time."[76]
2007 Nine Inch Nails, Year Zero Remixed
  • Released: 20 December 2007
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays "Another Version of the Truth" with Enrique Gonzalez Müller.
2008 Philip Glass, Glass Box: A Nonesuch Retrospective
  • Released: 30 September 2008
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Format: CD
  • 10-CD collection of the work of Philip Glass on Nonesuch.
2008 Kronos Quartet, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Kronos plays Holmgreen
  • Released: 28 October 2008
  • Label:
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays "Moving", "Still" with Danish National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Thomas Dausgaard.
2009 Dark Was The Night
  • Released: 16 February 2009
  • Label: 4AD
  • Format: CD
2012 Michael Hearst, Songs For Unusual Creatures
  • Released: 8 May 2012
  • Label: Urban Geek Records
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays "Aye-aye", and "Weddell Seal".
2014 The Great Beauty
  • Released: 19 February 2014
  • Label: Decca International
  • Format: CD
  • Kronos plays "The Beatitudes".

References[edit]

General
Specific
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Published music[edit]

  • Kronos Collection, Vol. 1. Boosey and Hawkes. 2007. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]