• Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012

    Kronos Quartet Performs with Longtime Cellist Joan Jeanrenaud for One-Time Reunion on Tuesday, February 28 at 7:30 pm in Zankel Hall

    Kronos “Quintet” in New York Premiere of Vladimir Martynov’s Schubert-Quintet (Unfinished);Plus Quartet Performs Premieres by Donnacha Dennehy, Nicole Lizée, and Michael Hearst
    Carnegie Hall presents the trailblazing Kronos Quartet in concert on Tuesday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall. Longtime Kronos cellist Joan Jeanrenaud joins the quartet, in a special one-time only reunion, for the New York premiere of composer Vladimir Martynov’s Schubert-Quintet (Unfinished), the centerpiece of Kronos’s new CD, Music of Vladimir Martynov, released January 10 on the Nonesuch label. Kronos Quartet also performs the world premieres of Donnacha Dennehy’s One Hundred Goodbyes (Céad Slán) and Michael Hearst’s Secret Word and the New York premiere of Nicole Lizée’s Death to Kosmische. Kronos’s Artistic Director David Harrington says, “The entire concert will be exploring various relationships we have to the past, and the way those relationships forge new routes to the future.”

    A member of Kronos Quartet from 1978 to 1998, Joan Jeanrenaud departed from Kronos after 20 years to pursue solo artistic endeavors, to devote more time to composition, and to focus on her health, having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the late 1990s. She remains musically active, with a flourishing career as a performer/composer. Her debut solo CD, Strange Toys, earned a Grammy Award nomination in 2008, and she has composed for the Del Sol Quartet, violinist Cornelius Dufallo, and others. Regarding recording the Martynov quartet with Kronos, Jeanrenaud said in a recent interview, “It was wonderful to play with them again. I still love those guys.”

    The fifth work that Kronos has commissioned from Vladimir Martynov, Schubert-Quintet (Unfinished) suggests the textures, both sonic and emotional, of Schubert’s famous C Major Quintet, and according to the composer, its purpose is “to prolong forever each moment of sound, examine every turn, every Schubertian pause through a magnifying glass, or even a microscope.” Martynov, though not as well known in the U.S. as he is in Europe, is something of a cult figure in Russia. After experimenting with serialism, avant-garde techniques, and progressive rock in the 1960s and ’70s, he found his mature style through the study of Russian liturgical chant.

    Donnacha Dennehy’s One Hundred Goodbyes (Céad Slán) is built around samples of field recordings of sean nós—unaccompanied traditional Irish songs—made in the 1920s by Wilhelm Doegen, who was contracted by the Irish government to travel the countryside and record traditional songs and Gaelic speech that were part of a dying folklore. Says Dennehy: “On an intuitive level (my entire family comes from rural Kerry in the south) and because of my strong interest in the way history shapes our present in ways that we are not completely conscious of, I am compulsively attracted to exploring and exploding this source material which speaks to me both familiarly and unfamiliarly.”

    Michael Hearst’s Secret Word is a tribute to “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” the beloved, mid-’80s children’s television show starring Pee-wee Herman, which still fascinates the composer and Kronos Artistic Director David Harrington. Hearst notes that the program’s audio tracks “incorporate some of the most bizarre sound effects and whacked-out melodies known to television—a barrage of blips and beeps layered on top of quirky polkas and dreamy waltzes—a Foley artist’s loony bin, which closely relates to the kind of music I love to compose and play around with.”

    Death to Kosmische from composer Nicole Lizée features Kronos performing on vintage analog instruments and reflects the composer’s “fascination with the notion of musical hauntology and the residual perception of music,” and her “love/hate relationship with the idea of genres.” She goes on to say, “The musical elements of the piece could be construed as the faded and twisted remnants of the Kosmische style of electronic music. To do this, I have incorporated two archaic pieces of music technology, the Stylophone and the Omnichord, and have presented them through the gauze of echoes and reverberation, as well as through imitations of this technology as played by the strings.”

    Kronos Quartet
    For nearly 40 years, San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet—David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Jeffrey Zeigler (cello)—has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to expanding the range and context of the string quartet. In the process, the Grammy Award-winning Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential ensembles of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 45 recordings of extraordinary breadth, and commissioning more than 750 new works and arrangements for string quartet. In 2011, Kronos became the only recipients of the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize, two of the most prestigious awards given to musicians.

    Integral to Kronos’s work is a series of long-running, in-depth collaborations with many of the world’s foremost composers, including Americans Terry Riley, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich; Azerbaijan’s Franghiz Ali-Zadeh; Poland’s Henryk Górecki; and Argentina’s Osvaldo Golijov. Additional collaborators from around the world have included pipa virtuoso Wu Man; the legendary Bollywood “playback singer” Asha Bhosle; Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq; Mexican rockers Café Tacuba; famed Azeri vocalist Alim Qasimov; and iconic American singer-songwriter Tom Waits.

    A non-profit organization, the Kronos Quartet/Kronos Performing Arts Association is committed to mentoring emerging musicians and composers, and to creating, performing, and recording new works. The quartet devotes five months of each year to touring, appearing in the world’s most prestigious concert halls, clubs, and festivals. Kronos is equally prolific on recordings, with a discography on Nonesuch Records including Pieces of Africa (1992), a showcase of African-born composers that simultaneously topped Billboard’s Classical and World Music lists; Nuevo (2002), a Grammy- and Latin Grammy Award-nominated celebration of Mexican culture; the 2003 Grammy Award-winner, Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite; and Floodplain (2009), spotlighting music from regions of the world riven by conflict.

    Program Information
    Tuesday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m.
    Zankel Hall

    •• David Harrington, Violin
    •• John Sherba, Violin
    •• Hank Dutt, Viola
    •• Jeffrey Zeigler, Cello
    with special guest Joan Jeanrenaud, Cello

    DONNACHA DENNEHY One Hundred Goodbyes (Céad Slán) (World Premiere)
         I. Is Léan Liom (I grieve for you)
         II. Tomás Bán (White Thomas)
         III. Céad Slán Dhuit (A Hundred Goodbyes to You)
    VLADIMIR MARTYNOV Schubert-Quintet (Unfinished) (NY Premiere)
    NICOLE LIZÉE Death to Kosmische (NY Premiere)
    MICHAEL HEARST Secret Word (World Premiere)

    Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

    Ticket Information
    Tickets, $49 and $62, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

    For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts
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